Rachel revere Square

Landscape Rehabilitation + Adaptive Reuse

Rachel Revere Square is located across from an iconic Boston landmark: Paul Revere’s House. Rachel Revere Square is just one space of many within the Boston’s famous North End. It is used in countless photographs on a daily basis to capture a long view of this historic home and serves as a lunch spot for tourists as they follow the Freedom Trail. Beyond the tourist uses, this paved space is a court for informal ball games, community gatherings, passive use, and even weddings. The square is in poor condition with materials that are tired and in need of restoration or replacement. The design solution is intended to be contextual, rooted in the history, and responsive to the community. The new vision, currently being constructed, is a hardscape space designed to be flexible to accommodate a range of user types and activities.  New trees and plantings, and wood bench overlays soften the granite and cobble which is used extensively throughout the space. 

 

Green infrastructure improvements were critical to make this hardscape area function in the New England climate and to provide a successful public space in a dense, urban neighborhood. The first inch of storm water is retained and infiltrated on site and provides water for tree planting (constructed in subsurface planting cells to provide compacted topsoil under pavement).  Storm water management, in particular, was emphasized on the site through the implementation of a modular suspended pavement matrix. The system allows the tree roots access to de-compacted planting soil. This configuration appreciates urban tree growth and longevity while providing the structure necessary to develop hardscape in the urban environment. 

Client:
Boston Parks and Recreation Department


Location:
Boston, MA (North End)


Size:
0.1 acres


Duration:
2015 to 2017

Photography:

Anthony Crisafulli