Boston’s Central Artery is a stretch of highway that runs North-South through the city. In the 1950’s, it was built as a mostly above-ground elevated highway, and for the latter half of that century its presence divided the waterfront areas of Boston from the rest of the city. The Big Dig was a project to take that elevated highway and move it underground, and was completed in 2006. Since then, the space where the elevated highway previously ran has been undergoing major renovation, and has now been converted into public parks.
This Saturday marked the official opening of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and Rebecca, Catherine and I trekked into the city to check out the Greenway and take part in the celebrations. Many Boston-area organizations and companies had booths and exhibits set up along the park, there were performances by musical, dance and cultural groups, and there were presentations by various politicians and other notable figures. We actually saw Caroline Kennedy, Michael Bloomberg and Thomas Menino as they finished giving a speech. Caroline Kennedy was just milling around with folks and stopping to have her picture taken! With bodyguards, of course, but still.
The Greenway is truly a remarkable improvement for Boston. It has created many new public parks and open spaces, so the city will now have some great places to hold concerts and events, in addition to the spaces it already has in the Boston Common and Esplanade. It has also made the neighborhoods around the former site of the Central Artery more accessible and appealing. Never before would I have cared to walk as much around the places that I did yesterday. It really does tie the city together, and I look forward to seeing how it will continue to improve life for Bostonians and those in the surrounding areas.
You can see our photos from the event in the Greenway Gallery.