Infrastructure dollars can go toward HEALTH, HISTORY, CLIMATE RESILIENCE, RECREATION and TOURISM

On Jun 3, 2022,
KATHLEEN M ELLIOTT

Infrastructure dollars can go toward HEALTH, HISTORY, CLIMATE RESILIENCE, RECREATION and TOURISM all in one location at Pier 5 in the Charlestown Navy Yard.  With an influx of infrastructure dollars, we have the opportunity to create something iconic and spectacular that will enhance our Boston National Historic Park in the Charlestown Navy Yard as well as the entire community.  It will be transformative, inclusive and visionary.

Pier 5 in the Charlestown Navy Yard sits behind a chain link fence and has been closed off to public use for decades.  That is inexcusable.  Neglected and not maintained by its owners, the BPDA, Pier 5 can be transformed into an open, waterfront-facing public park for the entire Charlestown community to enjoy.  It can be created as a terminus to the Freedom Trail and a capstone to a visit to the USS Constitution.  It will be money well spent enhancing a National Park site that attracts well over a half million visitors each year.

It will provide recreation and open air activity for Charlestown residents, including residents that live a stone’s throw away from the Navy Yard in the largest public housing development in the Northeast.  And, we have learned through Covid that the benefits of being outdoors and physical activity add so much to an individual’s physical health and mental well being.  With among the highest asthma rates in the city and one of the lowest amounts of tree canopy, an open park imbued with fresh sea breezes will bring health benefits to the entire community while removing the current eyesore that the BPDA has created from years of neglect.

With cooperation from local schools and universities, the Pier 5 location can become a living laboratory to study climate changes and tides at the point where the Mystic and Charles River converge in Boston Harbor.

There will be a positive impact on tourism as well by creating an iconic park that will become a must-see destination. (Think Boston’s version of Little Island or Pier 26 in New York City.)  Our economy is highly dependent on tourism and the industry employs many immigrants and single heads of households.   The economic benefit will be far reaching.  

Don’t build another cookie cutter condo project on this historic pier where we have seen many of the past proposals fail under the weight of impossible economic feasibility.  Let’s build something that can be celebrated along with our city’s upcoming significant milestones and an enduring acknowledgment of our rich history.  As we look forward to commemorating the upcoming 250th anniversary of 1776 in 2026 and the upcoming 400th anniversary of the founding of Boston in 2030, the history of this location can be celebrated on the site where the British bombarded Charlestown at the start of the American Revolution.  Our forward-looking Mayor can be celebrated at a ribbon cutting ceremony along with a celebration of our shared history and what the future can bring.

Thank you.

Kathy Elliott

Pier 5 Association

www.pier5.org