Friends at Work: Channing restoration update

During the next few weeks, we will be putting the finishing touches on this year’s $60,000 Channing Memorial conservation effort.
Weather permitting, Daedalus will be back on site in the Public Garden scraping and painting the unique fencing that is on either side of the monument and repointing the granite base rail and posts. If you look closely, you will see the design of that fence is different than the traditional fencing that surrounds the rest of the park. The fence is an integral part of the monument’s design. Tim Mitchell, chair of the Friends Sculpture Committee, has pointed out the design that runs along the bottom of the fence is called Greek Key (you will probably recognize it from the detail on Greek buildings and pottery).
The Friends plays a vital role in caring for 42 pieces of public art in the Common, Garden, and Mall, spending an average of $100,000 each year on regular cleaning, as well as conservation and restoration when needed. This work is made possible thanks to generous donations from our members and the public.

Advocacy Update: Height of Winthrop Square Lowered, Shadow Impact Still Felt on Parks


Shadow Study Illustration 


A shorter building is a positive development, but the reduction to 702 feet in response to the FAA ruling still doesn’t prevent the building’s shadow from extending across the parks during the times that required exemption from the shadow laws. The illustration shows one of the shadow studies we commissioned during this process and the effect of changes in the height of the building from 775 feet down to 575 feet. Reducing the building to 702 feet will have no substantive impact on shadows cast on the Common and Garden.
Without a design, we still do not know what the final building will look like or what its impact will be, particularly given that the developer might make the tower wider to compensate for the loss of height. We will be deeply involved in the Article 80 process, to ensure there is no erosion of protections for the parks.
One of the positive outcomes of the exemption legislation was the City’s commitment to downtown planning, and we look forward to working with the BPDA to begin that process in the near future. Moving forward, it is critical that Boston’s development be guided by protecting what makes our city livable and desirable, most importantly our irreplaceable greenspaces.

City of Boston Traffic Advisory for Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17.

Hub on Wheels and other special events taking place on Saturday, September 16, and Sunday, September 17, will impact traffic and parking in the City of Boston.  Those attending the events are encouraged not to drive their personal vehicles.  Information on Hubway, the regional bike-share service, may be found at and information on the MBTA may be found at .  For a faster return trip, the MBTA advises riders to purchase a round-trip rather than a one-way ticket.  Walking is also a great way to travel around Boston.

Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17

Hub on Wheels related events will take place on City Hall Plaza on both Saturday, September 16, and Sunday, September 17.  The Hub on Wheels bike ride through Boston will take place on Sunday only, beginning at 8 AM on Congress Street behind Boston City Hall.  For detailed information regarding Hub on Wheels, including planned bike ride routes and a car free Storrow Drive, please see .

On Saturday, September 16, traffic delays should be expected from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM near City Hall Plaza on Cambridge, Sudbury, Congress, State and Court Streets, for a Hub on Wheels related event.

On Sunday, September 17, the following City of Boston streets will be closed to traffic from 7 AM to 9 AM.

  • Congress Street, between New Sudbury Street and State Street (southbound lane)
  • Cambridge Street, between Court Street and New Sudbury Street (northbound lane)

“Tow Zone No Stopping, Boston Police Special Event, Saturday and Sunday” parking restrictions will be in effect as follows.

  • Cambridge Street, both sides, Court Street to New Chardon Street
  • Congress Street, City Hall side, North Street to State Street
  • Court Square, both sides, the entire length, inbound and outbound
  • Court Street, both sides, Washington Street to Cambridge Street
  • New Chardon Street, both sides, Cambridge Street to Merrimac Street
  • New Sudbury Street, both sides, Cambridge Street to Congress Street
  • State Street, both sides, Congress Street to Washington Street
  • Washington Street, both sides, Water Street to Court Street

“Tow Zone No Stopping, Boston Police Special Event, Saturday” parking restrictions will be in effect as follows.

  • Congress Street, City Hall side, New Sudbury Street to North Street

“Tow Zone No Stopping, Boston Police Special Event, Sunday” parking restrictions will be in effect as follows.

  • Cambridge Street, odd side, New Chardon Street to Charles Circle

Saturday, September 16

The South Boston Street Festival

  • East Broadway, between I Street and L Street, will be closed to traffic from 7AM to 6PM.

“Tow Zone No Stopping Saturday” parking restrictions will be in effect as follows.

  • East Broadway, both sides, I Street to L Street
  • L Street, odd side, L Street heading south for the first two street lights
  • Municipal Parking Lot, #650-652 E. Broadway, all spaces in the parking lot

The Uphams Corner Street Festival

Stoughton Street, between Columbia Road and Pleasant Street, will be closed to traffic from 9 AM to 5 PM

“Tow Zone No Stopping Boston Police Special Event Saturday 8 AM to 5 PM” parking restrictions will be in effect as follows.

  • Stoughton Street, both sides, Columbia Road to Everett Avenue/Sumner Street

The ABCD All Bright Community Center Grand Opening

  • Commonwealth Avenue Carriage Road, from Spofford Road to Long Avenue, will be closed to traffic from 12 PM until 5 PM

Sunday, September 17

The Boston Local Food Festival

  • Milk Street, from Surface Road to Atlantic Avenue, will be closed to traffic from 6 AM to 8 PM

The South Street Diner Customer Appreciation Day

  • South Street, from Beach Street to Kneeland Street, will be closed to traffic from 10 AM to 6 PM

Advocacy Alert

Your parks need your voice!

The BRA will be making a crucial decision about the proposed residential development at 171-172 Tremont Street.

This project, as it is currently proposed, will exceed  existing zoning laws protecting Boston Common from excessive shadow and wind.

Parks greatly improve the quality of city life and build community. The time is now to share your voice on their behalf.

The time is now to share your voice on their behalf.

The BRA will be making a crucial decision about the proposed residential development at 171-172 Tremont Street. As it is currently proposed, the project will exceed current protective zoning and set a harmful precedent by opening the door for more development exceeding the height limit in the mid-town area bordering Boston Common and the Public Garden.
From the 1970’s, the Friends of the Public Garden has continuously advocated for protecting the Common from excessive shadow and wind resulting from development projects that would have a damaging impact on this vital and heavily used historic urban park.
We advocate for compliance with both the 1990 Shadow Law and Boston’s zoning code’s provisions protecting the Common as well as the Public Garden.

Will you take 5 minutes this week to send an email to BRA Director Brian Golden?

Sample email message:
Dear Mr. Golden,
I am asking that the BRA comply with the existing laws, the 1990 Shadow Law and Boston’s zoning code’s provision protecting Boston Common and the Public Garden that limits the height of buildings in the Midtown Cultural Zone to 155′ and not approve the 171 Tremont St. project as presently proposed. (INCLUDE A SENTENCE ABOUT WHY BOSTON COMMON AND THE PUBLIC GARDEN ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU.)
Boston Common is the most heavily used greenspace in the entire city. It has served the city at-large for 382 years as a gathering place for celebrations, special events and demonstrations, but also as the neighborhood park for over 35,000 residents. I urge the BRA not to approve the additional new shadow on Boston Common the 171-172 Tremont project will incur.  A harmful precedent will be set for more buildings to exceed the height limit. Shadows negatively impact the health of the park’s trees and grass, and also significantly affect my, and other people’s enjoyment of the park.
Please let me know that you will not approve the project until it complies with existing laws protecting Boston Common.
Thank you for your consideration.
Your name
Your address



Young Friends Happy Hour

Meet new people and enjoy an evening connecting with old friends while learning about how you can help the Friends of the Public Garden.

Stewardship of our greenspace is essential to the future of Boston. You can help the Friends with our work to preserve and enhance the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Mall.

Join us May 24, 6:00 – 9:00pm at Abby Lane, 253 Tremont Street, Boston

Light appetizers included

Register here!

Meet the Friends: Sherif Nada


Sherif Nada and his wife Mary moved to their home across from the Public Garden 11 years ago, a home they selected partly because of a connection they felt to the Garden. The couple had always appreciated the Garden for its historical significance, public art, horticulture, and overall beauty but since becoming its neighbor their feelings for this special place became stronger, and for Sherif, his connection evolved over time.

During several years of traversing the paths through the Public Garden and the Boston Common to and from business meetings downtown, something continually captured Sherif’s attention – people. “I always saw people working in the parks. They were caring for these places in many ways, taking care of the roses, fixing statues,” he said.

He learned about special projects and routine maintenance done by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the Friends of the Public Garden, and watched first-hand how the two entities worked together as partners. “I was impressed at how well they come together to care for the parks,” he said.

As Sherif got to know the Garden and the Common on his frequent walks, he began to have a deeper appreciation for their unique qualities and gained an understanding of how much care they needed. As he spent more time in them, not unlike how many meaningful relationships evolve, his desire to become closer to them grew. “We are so intimate with these places and I wanted to get even closer to them,” he said.

Soon Sherif was asking people he knew that were Members of the Friends of the Public Garden about opportunities to become involved as a volunteer. He was asked to join the Council and shortly after was asked to join the Board of Directors, on which he currently serves. He is a member of the Governance Committee where he lends his experience working with nonprofits to develop the Friends leadership and plan for its future.

He gives much credit to the many people who have been involved with the Friends for decades, saying “they are involved at a much deeper level than I ever anticipated. They are incredibly sincere about protecting these greenspaces in the city for all to enjoy.”

Sherif brings a wealth of experience to the Friends. He retired as president of Fidelity Brokerage Group and member of the company’s operating committee. Prior to Fidelity, he held executive positions at Salomon Brothers and Morgan Stanley. Sherif received a B.A. from Duke University where he met his wife, Mary. In addition to contributing his expertise to the Friends of the Public Garden, he is currently a trustee of the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower foundation, a Director Emeritus of Citizen Schools and of the Boston Lyric Opera, and an honorary trustee of the Boston Children’s Museum.

Support the Community Preservation Act on March 29


Come to a hearing on the Community Preservation Act at Boston City Council Chambers in City Hall on Tuesday, March 29th at 1:00 pm. The Community Preservation Act (CPA)is being considered for the ballot this November by the City Council.

CPA is a state program that would allow Boston to raise $20 million/year for parks and recreation, historic preservation and affordable housing by adding a 1% surcharge –a $23.09 average annual cost to a Boston homeowner–to property tax bills.  Boston can join 160 cities and towns in Massachusetts that have already passed the CPA and have raised a total of $1.4 billion to develop and restore parks  and playgrounds, build affordable housing and rehabilitate historic buildings. 

It is important to be there, crowd support makes an impact!  Or, if you cannot attend call or email your Councilor and Councilors Flaherty and Campbell, who sponsored the CPA Order.