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Old 06-01-2014, 04:56 PM   #1
davem
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Pocket Parks: In and around Boston

I thought this would be a fun thread with the beautiful weather, and since everyone probably has these little oasis in their neighborhoods that are usually unknown outside of them. My personal favorite is Freeman Square in Brookline, but my bike ride to my local cafe (*sigh* the Barrys Corner Dunkin) didn't take me nearly that far today. So to start:

Collins Square (nee Franklin Square) | Franklin St at Holton St | Lower Allston



I've always liked this one because of its tinyness, and it being surrounded by old commercial buildings that predate Franklin St being cut off from Allston Village. Other than a single conveinance store, most of the storefronts seem to be occupied by artists or other craftsman.


No one was in it when I rode by today, but the bench gets a surprising amount of use. I'm pretty sure most of the landscaping is done by locals, not the city.



Barrys Corner Common | North Harvard St at Western Ave | Lower Allston


I look forward to updating more pics when this one opens. No one was in it today (since fences still have it technically closed off), but I've seen people using it on other occasions already. Once the Sameuls development opens, this thing is probably going to be packed. The fact that its a pretty substantial bus transfer point (66, 86 and 70) helps with foot traffic too.



Dog Park | Holton St and Antwerp St | North Brighton


This one sort of popped up out of nowhere as Charlesview started getting built. It connects two formerly vacant lots in the middle of the blocks to each other, running behind houses. It's a nice little shortcut walking back from Shaws, and a very popular dog park. IIRC, the long range plans for the area have the below picture being turned into a street if the fire training facility gets redeveloped.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:32 PM   #2
Matthew
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Re: Pocket Parks: In and around Boston

Pretty sure Franklin St was fairly "cut-off" well before the Pike. The Allston subway was built in the 19th century, after all.

There is also a small dog park that popped up on Mansfield and Lincoln at some point.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:55 AM   #3
HenryAlan
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Re: Pocket Parks: In and around Boston

I love these little parks, too. We have a few good ones in Roslindale:

Alexander the Great Square


Small Park in front of Emerald Society




And exciting move in this direction, an on street parklet being installed today next to Fornax Bread Company:

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Old 06-05-2014, 09:57 AM   #4
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Re: Pocket Parks: In and around Boston



This is clearly not a a pocket park, but I'd love to see if it could be! Something simple but well-designed with planters, benches, and tables plopped down onto the existing asphalt would be a great pilot to see if people would use it. Maybe later a nice surface could be laid down instead of asphalt, either brick or some of the more modern parklet bases. There's also space for a few bike racks to finally provide some legal bike parking to the neighborhood.

On the map it's "Grove Square", a tiny little segment of Grove Street on Beacon Hill that dead ends just past Myrtle Street. As far as I can tell it is nearly functionless from a transportation perspective, as it dead ends, is signed as No Parking and provides access to only a single private driveway. I'm sure that access to that guy's driveway, the fire hydrant, and occasional residential unloading can be maintained using shared space/woonerf principles.

There are a few really nice pocket parks downtown, and a few that fail pretty hard, I might do a mini review of some of them here. Especially the ones that don't work so well!
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:37 PM   #5
Randomgear
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Re: Pocket Parks: In and around Boston

The parklet in Roslindale was complete the day after Henry took that pic.
One of ladies working at Fornax Bakery (the sponsor of the parklet) told me that this one was originally installed near a Mike's Donuts in Mission Hill, but Mike's patrons complained about loosing so much parking...

At 3:30pm on Wednesday


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Old 06-13-2014, 10:54 AM   #6
Matthew
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Re: Pocket Parks: In and around Boston

Mike's dumb nuts. Their loss.

The Allston parklet has finally been installed. Looks like a set of plastic blocks.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:28 AM   #7
cden4
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Re: Pocket Parks: In and around Boston

Love the Roslindale one. It's actually useful and comfortable. The Allston one is ridiculous. I'll be interested to see if anyone uses it at all.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:30 AM   #8
cden4
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Re: Pocket Parks: In and around Boston

Have you guys seen this? It's all the places in Boston where you could create new pocket parks:

http://pavementtoplazas.com
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:38 AM   #9
Matthew
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Re: Pocket Parks: In and around Boston



But yeah, plastic blocks? Why is the Roslindale one so much different, and so much nicer? The City is weird.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:59 AM   #10
BarbaricManchurian
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Re: Pocket Parks: In and around Boston

Lol I kinda like that Allston one. Fitting!
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:32 PM   #11
davem
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Re: Pocket Parks: In and around Boston

I assume the city expects it to get allstonised. Tags, stickers, additions of furniture and stuff by users, etc.
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:28 PM   #12
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Re: Pocket Parks: In and around Boston

Checked out the Allston parklet yesterday in the rain. Obviously, nobody was using it at the time so it was hard to overcome my skepticism towards the concept. To me it just looks silly, but like I said I'm not sold on the concept.









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Old 07-01-2014, 02:54 PM   #13
ErnieAdams
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Re: Pocket Parks: In and around Boston

Davem's favorite pocket park (per the top post), Freeman Square, is now Private Albert Edward Scott Memorial Square. Not pictured: the wooden "Freeman Square" sign appeared to have been semi-forcibly removed from its post(s), still standing forlornly by the benches on the Babcock Street side of the park.



Also, the Tasty Burger parklet in Harvard Square has been installed on Mt. Auburn St. Four tables, a few umbrellas, but no AC = no people as of a couple hours ago.
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