BOSTON (Northendwaterfront.com) — Clearing the way for construction bids and a groundbreaking in fall 2010, the final design meeting for the Armenian Heritage Park was held on May 26 at the Mariner’s House in the North End.
“You will see action this year,” responded Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT) liaison John Romano, as residents urged the start of construction for the Greenway park on Parcel 13. The site is on the Rose Kennedy Greenway across from Mercantile Wharf, Christopher Columbus Park and the Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market area at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Cross Street.
The Armenian Heritage Foundation has raised more than $5 million to fund the construction and maintenance of the park. According to Jim Kalustian, the foundation will also offer a lecture series on human rights and selected programming.
Don Tellalian, architect of the project, described some minor refinements to the design. The changes mostly impact the “pinch points” around sidewalks and technical issues related to the soil depth down to the underground tunnel. Tellalian noted that the contractor must keep open the passageway from Cross Street to Surface Road during construction.
The park will feature a labyrinth, a circular winding path in grass and inlaid stone, intended to represent life’s journey. A single jet of water at its center represents hope and rebirth. In addition, there will be an abstract sculpture, a 12-sided split dodecahedron, sitting atop a reflecting pool with waters washing over the sides. Annually, the sculpture will be reconfigured to commemorate the immigrant experience. The sculpture is dedicated to lives lost during the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and all the genocides that followed.
Anne Gorczyca of Mass. DOT said that final submissions from contractors are due in late June and construction will begin as soon as possible. She noted the sewer and utility work would be time-consuming, but completion is likely in 2011.