North Square Main Topic at NEWRA Meeting

August 13, 2013
By
Elizabeth Ghiseline is shown with a display of North Square plans.

Elizabeth Ghiseline is shown with a display of North Square plans.

The main topic discussed at the North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) monthly meeting last week centered around North Square.

One presentation that was clearly opposed was the placing of 19 Hubway rental bikes in the chained-off area of North Square by the City.

Residents felt it would be dangerous for bikers riding on cobblestones, getting the bikes over the chains was dangerous and the small vehicle passageway was also a dangerous situation. Nicole Leo of the Mayor’s Office said she would “take the message of opposition to City Hall.”

A much more acceptable potential plan for the square was presented by North End resident architects and the founders of Crosstown Foundation for the Arts, Inc. at 1 North Square, Sandro Carella and Elizabeth Ghiseline.

Plans which also included Rachel Revere Park are intended to improve the functionality, accessibility and safe enjoyment of the historic square. More public spaces, re-routing of traffic, tree and other improvements were suggested.

Lastly, the City of Boston has allocated $2.5 million for the renovation of Rachel Revere Park. Actually construction funds are $2 million with design money at $500,000.

The City of Boston Department of Public Works (DPW) which will oversee the project plans to have neighborhood meetings to present and discuss the project in the near future.

NEWRA President Jim Salini announced that the group’s annual Summer Party will be held on Tuesday, August 20 at 6:30pm in the Pilot House, 2 Atlantic Avenue.

He also noted that NEWRA and NEWNC are attempting to conduct a joint public meeting to discuss proposed plans for the development of the Boston Garden Project at the request of the developer.

There were only two voting items on the agenda.

NEWRA voted 19-1 to support a request by Michelle Holdings, LLC to increase residential units from 16 to 20 at 55-57 North Washington Street.

A request by ZagCafe, Inc. d/b/a Waterfront Cafe to remove the license restriction that requires food to be served with alcohol was supported 13-6. Another request by the cafe owner to extend its capacity to 99 was also supported by NEWRA 16-3.

The next NEWRA monthly meeting will be held on Thursday, September 12 at 7pm in the Nazzaro Community Center.