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Charlestown Navy Yard redevelopment: 7 ideas for transforming its waterfront

Beaches, museums, and more

Context LLC via the Herald

In late March, the city put out a call for ideas for redeveloping large swathes of the Charlestown Navy Yard, including its Dry Docks 2 and 5 as well as Pier 5. The ideas came pouring in:

  • Peter Agoos, a Boston-based installation artist, proposed a floating art installation complete with marine buoys and live plants.
  • BOS Urban Architecture wants to turn Dry Dock 2 into a kind of open-air pavilion, complete with a theater, climbing wall, a garden, and a seasonal ice-skating rink.
  • The Charlestown Marina’s owners proposed an event space on Pier 5 with a pool. There would also be floating docks off the pier to service historic and commercial vessels.
  • The nonprofit Boston Harbor Now wants to turn Pier 3 and a portion of Dry Dock 2 into Boston’s newest beach, with plenty of sand, changing rooms, an outdoor shower, and concessions. The group would also install swimming pool barges in the Dry Dock 2 channel.
  • An LLC based in Charlestown proposed transforming Pier 5 into a major mixed-use development that would include a research and education center, an amphitheater, retirement housing for maritime workers, condos, parks on barges, and statues commemorating the area’s former chain forge and rope workers. The development is rendered above.
  • DC Bean and Associates Construction Co., which is located in the Navy Yard, proposed outdoor gym equipment and/or public art along the Harborwalk there. It also would turn the Dry Dock 2 pump house into a science museum focused on the Navy Yard’s ecology and on climate change. The company would also make Pier 5 into a beach or a lawn, complete with event space and boat slips.
  • The Navy Yard Community Association would remake Pier 5 as a maritime history and science park. That park would include a jogging track, a memorial to Navy Yard workers, a skating rink-slash-wading pool, and space for yoga, tai chi, outdoor movies and fishing.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency is reviewing the proposals. No timeline has been set for implementing any of them. But one can dream, can’t one?