BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Robin DiGiammarino, President Nancy Krepelka, Treasurer Donna Kenny, Clerk Marian Tse, Assistant Clerk
Jules Pieri Hallie Pinta Terry Savage Ruth Raphael, EX OFFICIO
Real Estate and Community Development Officer
Boston Planning & Development Agency
22 Drydock Ave, Boston, MA 02210
Letter in Response to Pier 5 Proposals, March 31, 2021
Introduction & Vision
The Navy Yard Garden Association (NYGA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established to revitalize and enhance open spaces in the Charlestown Navy Yard through planning, design and programming for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. Since our inception in 2017, we have worked collaboratively with stakeholders and sponsors on numerous projects including two major public arts exhibits, with a third permanent art installation planned for 2021. Our perspective in reviewing the three Pier 5 proposals is informed by our mission statement to enhance open space and our suggestions are brainstorming ideas that certainly need robust testing in the larger Charlestown community.
Fundamentally, we seek to elevate the conversation about the Pier 5 development from an “either-or'' argument into a collaborative effort involving the community, a developer, non-profit experts, and BPDA stakeholders to create a Charlestown Community Waterfront. Our nonprofit, over the past four years, has seen growing interest, participation and community support for the revitalization of open space and the addition of programming, plantings and public art. We believe the community at large has the motivation and interest to create a vision for an inclusive Charlestown Waterfront.
Paul Murphy, Chief Communication Officer for the MGH Institute of Health Professions states: "We support the Navy Yard Garden Association's comprehensive and collaborative approach to the issues surrounding the development of Pier 5". This support reinforces our belief in the community’s readiness and motivation to engage on the issues.
Charlestown Community Waterfront
Although the current RFP is focused on Pier 5 and the Pump House, the time is right to involve the community in creating a comprehensive vision and plan for the current RFP, as well as Piers 3 and 4, which are permanently designated for public space and use, rather than private development, but have not been imagined or maintained to achieve full public benefit. As currently configured, this core and central section of the Charlestown waterfront is suspended in time. There has been substantial public-private development work on the eastern end of the Charlestown harbor front extending from Spaulding Hospital to Pier 6. We also anticipate a wonderful outcome in the National Park’s planned updates, extending westward from Pier 2 to the end of the park. Anticipating this successful National Park project and plans to upgrade the Visitor Experience, the glaring “hole in the middle” will be Piers 3 to 5, thus our vision for the Charlestown Community Waterfront.
We envision a future waterfront where Charlestown residents, workers, students and tourists arrive in the Navy Yard and opt to stay for a while to enjoy the view of the city skyline and to explore activities and public amenities designed to fit in the neighborhood. Success means two things:
*Residents from all over Boston, especially the core areas of Charlestown, will have a true reason to spend a Saturday or weekday evening in the Navy Yard, with a full enough range of amenities and open space to engage people of all ages and life stages.
*On a future list of the top ten destinations in Boston, or on a Monday Night Football highlights reel, this area of our beloved waterfront will be included, because of the innovative development of public spaces, architecture, and/or iconic art.
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Navy Yard Garden Association, Inc. P.O. BOX 290525 Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129 navyyardgarden.org
Click here to read the entire letter.
The Jewel of the Harbor
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1.- Why is NYGA interested in the development of Pier 5?
A- It aligns with the core of our mission as a 501c3 nonprofit organization “to help the Boston Planning and Development Agency revitalize and enhance its public open spaces within the Charlestown Navy Yard… through planning, design, programming, and implementation for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.”
Q2.- What is your goal?
A – We want to pursue the potential for a bigger, bolder vision to imagine iconic spaces on the pier that include pubic art, exhibits and amenities that enhance this unique portion of our historic harbor front. We hope our efforts help to elevate the Pier 5 project, not diminish or shrink it, so there will be a positive outcome for all stakeholders in the Navy Yard and beyond.
Q3. - Are you advocating for any particular developer to be awarded the project?
A – Not at this time. We are advocating for development of a project with a dynamic vision that will create unique outcomes and further our mission to revitalize and enhance open spaces in the Charlestown Navy Yard. We are not advocating for any one of the three development proposals that have been submitted in response to the recent Request for Proposals (RFP) requested by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA). Please see the links below for access to the BPDA and the three Pier 5 proposals.
Navy Blue proposal – http://www.bostonplans.org/getattachment/e2f92b8a-db01-4a42-9eec-fe8453382999
Urbanica proposal – http://www.bostonplans.org/getattachment/d1eb3a97-13a4-4607-8d7a-f6bf52cb9b8d
Q4.- How are you advocating for this overarching goal?
A4. – Our board has invited each of the three developers to meet with us to provide further information and answer in-depth questions about their respective proposals. Some of the topics covered in these meetings include, for example, details about their open space designs and public programming, building heights and visual impacts, traffic and parking issues, noise levels, disruption to Courageous Sailing on Pier 4. This information is being shared with neighborhood community organizations including Friends of the Charlestown Navy Yard, Navy Yard Pier 5, Parris Landing Condo Association, Flagship Wharf Condo Association, and Constellation Wharf Condo Association
Q.5 – Are you meeting only with the developers and BPDA?
A - We are meeting also to explore possibilities for collaboration with other nonprofit organizations such as The Trustees of Reservations (www.thetrustees.org), the Conservation Law Foundation (www.clf.org), and Boston Harbor Now (www.bostonharbornow.org). The Trustees is dedicated to preserving and sharing locations of exceptional scenic, historic and ecological value. The Foundation has a strong focus on climate change and protecting the fragility of the New England shoreline. Boston Harbor Now has as its sole purpose realizing Boston Harbor’s potential to benefit our city and region while partnering with public agencies, community leaders, businesses, and non-profits.
Q. 6 - How may I help in these efforts?
A - As we gather more information we will share it with the community. In addition, you may also wish to visit another organization with valuable resources about the pier at www.navyyardpier5.org .