What to know about the multi-million dollar plan for Boston Common


Boston Common, the nation’s oldest public park, is planning a multimillion-dollar makeover.

The Boston Common Frog Pond spray pool provided a great place to cool off on a recent hot day.

A sit-down restaurant, basketball courts, Wi-Fi and an enclosed dog park are just a few of the proposals included in Boston Common’s multimillion-dollar makeover plans.

City leaders unveiled Boston’s 362-page Joint Master Plan on Wednesday, outlining a reimagined vision for the nation’s oldest public park. The plan is the result of a multi-year collaboration between the Boston Department of Parks and Recreation and the nonprofit group Friends of the Public Garden.

Boston set aside $28 million for the project following the city’s Winthrop Square garage sale.

In a statement included in the report, Mayor Michelle Wu said the city is “delighted to share a plan that honors the history of the common, reflects the community’s vision, and creates a space that will be more accessible, more resilient and more inclusive for future generations. »

There is no timeline for the improvements, although Liz Vizza, president of Friends of the Public Garden, said The Boston Globe that the plan aims to establish a vision for transforming the park over the next decade.

  • A dog park, a redesigned Frog Pond pavilion and other proposals as part of the Boston Common master plan

  • Boston Common is undergoing a $28 million renovation and the city wants your input

Community members can share their thoughts during the public comment period, which ends November 30.

Here are some highlights of the master plan:

The frog pond

Proposed renovations to Frog Pond include an expansion of the existing pavilion, a new wading pool and an improved wading pool with a more accessible entrance. The master plan also suggests a café or restaurant with an outdoor terrace overlooking the pond, which increases the possibility of selling beer and wine on site.

“In short, investments in upgrading the Frog Pond area will match current and projected levels of use and support infrastructure expectations without sacrificing its character,” the report notes.

Boston Common would gain additional restrooms under the plan, including at Frog Pond, where existing restrooms do not meet the state’s current plumbing code.


Recreation is essential at Boston Common, as the report explains: “Whether it’s…hearing the bounce of a soccer ball on a cleat or seeing a cute pooch basking in the sun, developing a rounded recreation makes a park more layered and dynamic. .”

The master plan calls for the relocation of existing tennis courts, the addition of basketball courts, the replacement of two baseball and softball diamonds with an all-purpose ball diamond and an all-purpose football field, and the creation of a sports equipment rental center for improvised matches.

The basketball courts could even serve as a backroom area for larger events at the Parkman Bandstand, depending on the plan.

The Boston Joint Master Plan provides a roadmap for possible improvements to the park over the next decade.

dog park

The reinvention also includes some provisions for canine recreation, offering an enclosed dog park instead of the lawn panels currently designated for off-leash use.

The dedicated space “will give dog owners a place for their exclusive use, relieving visitors who may be afraid of dogs and accommodating the riding of dog owners in a specific and appropriate way,” according to the plan.


As it stands, internet service is weaker toward the middle of the commune, presenting “a barrier for event operators, park staff, visitors, and even those looking for a remote workplace,” according to the master plan.

The plan proposes new infrastructure to transport reliable Wi-Fi to the center of the park, opening up “a new realm of possibilities”.

About Richard Chandler

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