Foundational work for the long-planned renovations of Boston’s City Hall Plaza could begin as soon as this fall, with major additions starting to pop up in the spring of 2020.
What will those additions include? A water-wall-lined promenade leading to an event space fronting on Cambridge Street; a so-called “civic engagement building” for community meetings on the plaza’s northern edge; a pavilion fronting Congress Street; new shaded areas via 100 newly planted trees; and a play area.
The city is also planning new entrances for City Hall itself. There will be a farmer’s market in the warmer months and a skating rink in the colder ones.
To these ends, the city is hosting public reviews of the final designs, including via a 6 p.m. meeting on Wednesday, June 5, on City Hall’s third floor.
The reasoning behind the renovations is two-fold. One, they’re designed to make the famously uninviting seven-acre civic tundra more welcoming.
Two, City Hall Plaza was originally designed to accommodate 40,000 people. But, as the Globe’s Milton J. Valencia points out, it hasn’t draw that amount since celebrations of the Boston Celtics’ NBA championships in the 1980s. The renovated plaza will be able to hold 12,000 to 25,000, depending on the staging.
The city is paying for the work through its capital plan.