North End

North End Park: Two ideas, one design
By Sofia Celeste

Concerns

DiGangi, for one, still isn’t satisfied.

“There is nothing Italian in any of the 16 parcels,” said DiGangi, who has been a constant, critical presence at the Central Artery Committee meetings.

Tony Cecca, a local contractor, agreed and insisted the plans for Chinatown’s parcels had more of an ethnic feel.

“Chinatown was treated differently. It has a gate; do you see Roman arches [in the plans]?” he asked angrily.

Franco Graceffa, owner of Dolce Vita restaurant, and local businessman Pasquale Gilberti, key players of Friends of the Piazza, volunteered to donate their own funds to build a resident’s parking garage and a “Bay State Memorial to All Immigrants,” a structure that they said would also serve as a monument to the multitude of immigrants who made the North End their home when their vessels docked at Boston Harbor at the turn of the 20th century.

A recent photo distributed by Friends of the Piazza incorporated park-inspired features as well as a “Bay State Memorial” for immigrants.

Unlike the park, the piazza would have been corniced by commercial businesses like a gym, shops and two parking lots.

But local politicians did not support this idea, certainly not this late in the game.Aluia said Rep. DiMasi, a North End resident and native, “wants to hear what the community has to say as long as it’s not a drastic change.”

“He [DiMasi] does not support ‘retail within the parks,’” he said, alluding to the parking garage and cafés illustrated on the cover of Boston’s North End, “A Piazza for Boston” issue.

City Councilor Paul Scapicchio, who represents the North End, agreed.

“It’s very important to frame the North End as an open space for the community,” he said.

Despite the Friends of the Piazza’s efforts to defeat current plans, Mass Turnpike spokesman Dough Hanchette said the park plans remained on track.

“The public process has gone very smoothly and the design of the parks is progressing steadily,” he said.


Next:
Long-term effects

| North End Home |Piazza vs. Park | Planning |
|Concerns| Final obstacles

Inside this story:

North End Home
1.Piazza vs. Park
2.Planning
3.Concerns
4.Long-term effects
5.Final obstacles

Links
Map of Rose Kennedy Greenway
History of BigDig
Link to Scarpa’s Work

 

 

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