June 11, 2006

City Hall Plaza Update

The fountain that never worked, at the public space that never worked, has been paved over at Boston's City Hall Plaza, but I don't share city officials' enthusiasm that the concrete has improved the plaza's appeal at all. You can see some before and after photos at Boston.com. I took an "after" photo this afternoon, and it's not impressive.

What's especially noteworthy is that nearby spaces like Quincy Market and Boston Common were teeming with people, while the plaza felt barren and sparsely populated. The fun "cows on parade" attracted swarms of people in the area around Faneuil Hall, while the cows at the plaza drew much less attention (hopefully they get their eyeballs during the workweek when commuters walk by). Photos on the next page...

The improved concreted-over plaza. Does that look appealing to you? Not many tourists or locals are hanging around City Hall Plaza to look at the cows
The "improved" City Hall Plaza area at left, with the concreted-over fountain that never worked.
At right, one of the "cows on parade" in a mostly vacant plaza.
As an aside, it was a fabulous day to be in the pedestrian-friendly North End, where we had a lovely, long, civilized lunch in the Tratoria Il Panino outdoor courtyard with friends, then strolled around the waterfront and popped into a nearby Gellataria for dessert while a World Cup game was televised to serious attention on two large-screen TVs. Quincy Market was packed as well, with the welcome addition of some table and chairs outside by the Samuel Adams statue.

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