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Charlestown Navy Yard ‘activation’ proposals include observation wheel

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Other ideas include beer gardens and paddle sports

Rendering via Upton + Partners/Universal Hub

Six firms have proposed ideas for furthering what the Boston Planning and Development Agency calls an “activation” of the Charlestown Navy Yard.

As the BPDA put it in a report detailing the proposals (h/t Universal Hub), it is “interested in temporary, seasonal, and/or recurring uses and programming that will activate the area and enhance enjoyment of the [navy yard], especially on the waterfront and watersheet, including public art, food vending/beer gardens, water-based recreation, and educational opportunities.”

Well, each of the proposals certainly aims for activity and entertainment. Here are some of the more striking ideas:

  • Sea Boston, doing business as Constitution Paddle Sports, has proposed a seasonal paddle sport and historic harbor tour facility at Parcel 3 called “Constitution Paddle Sports & Historic Tours.” According to the firm, “[t]his facility would be open to the public and offer instruction, rentals and historic guided tours of our waterfront.”
  • Upton + Partners would install a 180-foot observation wheel on Dry Dock 2 and a beer garden at the end of Pier 5.
  • The Anthem Group would also put in a beer garden as well as what it calls an ArtsCommon and a performance space that would seat 500 to 1,000 (or more).
  • The U.S.S. Constitution Musem—one of the biggest attractions at the navy yard, along with the similarly named boat—would focus on “turning the museum inside-out” under its proposal. That includes outward-facing graphics in the museum windows and four life-sized historical figures along the portion of the Harborwalk that cuts through the yard.

It will be months before the BPDA picks one of these firms or another to “activate” the navy yard. Another request for proposals could come in the summer of 2019, in fact. Stay tuned.