Sounds and Sights Delight at Brewer Fountain Plaza

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After a $4 million renovation by the Friends of the Public Garden, the Brewer Fountain Plaza on the Boston Common is in the midst of its first post-renovation season! With the physical renovation complete, the Plaza now offers new features that make the space a perfect place to spend the day.
Café tables and chairs are set out under umbrellas for lounging during the day or grabbing lunch at the on-site Clover Food Truck. A reading area offers newspapers and magazines to browse while enjoying the view of the bubbling Brewer Fountain and the gold-capped State House just up the path.

Every weekday during lunchtime, students from Berklee College of Music play music on the piano. On Thursdays at 5:00pm, the featured pianist of the week joins a jazz trio for evening Summer Concerts. Berklee pianists James Fernando, Daniel Pugh, Justin Salisbury, and Vivienne Aerts will be featured in June and July.

The largest project the Friends has taken on, Brewer Fountain Plaza has become an attractive place of leisure, where park-goers can sit and read the newspaper, snack on a treat from Clover, and enjoy atmospheric music provided by talented local musicians.

Be sure to head down to the Brewer Fountain Plaza during a lunch break or on a sunny afternoon to take advantage of all that the space has to offer!

For more information about the Brewer Fountain Plaza, visit www.friendsofthepublicgarden.org or email info@friendsofthepublicgarden.org to let us know about your visit.

Celebrating Completion of $4M Revitalization of Brewer Fountain Plaza

Snip20141119_44This month the Friends completed its $4 million project to revitalize Brewer Fountain Plaza and the surrounding parkland on Boston Common near Park Street station. The City led the effort to restore the fountain, which was re-dedicated in 2010. The Friends launched a companion project to revitalize the plaza and entire parkland leading up to the State House and along Tremont Street, which over the years had fallen into a state of disrepair. This multi-year effort implemented by the Friends is the largest single project undertaken in the 44-year history of the nonprofit’s work in caring for the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall in partnership with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Over 260 individuals, foundations, and corporations contributed to this community effort.

In warmer months, café tables and chairs, piano music at lunchtime, a reading room, and quality food have made this one of the most popular outdoor gathering places in the city for residents and visitors. Highlights of the project include granite paving, refurbished grass areas, and the addition of 44 new trees.  Other improvements include irrigation to sustain prime grass areas; improved lighting; new curbing; repaved walkways; and better drainage. The final piece of the project along Lafayette Mall restored roughly 350 feet of historic cast iron fencing to the Tremont Street park edge for the first time in more than 100 years, between Park Street Station and West Street. The original fence was removed in 1895 for subway construction.

Read previous blog posts on this project: 
Discovering Premier Seating on Boston Common
Brewer Fountain Plaza: A Fountain-side Retreat on Boston Common
What’s happening on Brewer Fountain Plaza on Boston Common?

Brewer Fountain Plaza: A Fountain-Side Retreat on Boston Common

 

Brewer Fountain Plaza is once again a vibrant gathering place
Brewer Fountain Plaza is once again a vibrant gathering place

 

The sounds, sights and scents of the season make Brewer Fountain Plaza a popular gathering spot for spring and summer once again.  If you have been following the evolution of this area in recent years, you are probably aware that a $4 million renovation project by the Friends has transformed it from a once deteriorated space to a destination of choice for residents, area workers, and anyone looking for a fountain-side retreat in a spectacular outdoor venue.  You may have read about the project in our recent blog post What’s Happening on Brewer Fountain Plaza and will be happy to know that the tables, chairs, music, reading room, and Clover Food truck are all back on the plaza ahead of schedule.  As for the construction happening just a few feet away, it is where the final phase of the restoration project is taking place.  Thank you for your words of appreciation for this project and for your patience as we complete it.  If you are interested in receiving updates on Brewer Fountain Plaza and other Friends activities, please sign up for our email newsletter and other alerts, and follow us on social media.

 

10 Good reasons to support the Friends of the Public Garden

1. Membership begins at just $25.  Every dollar makes a difference.

2. It’s cheaper to maintain the grounds and sculptures than it is to repair and restore. Your support today ensures that beauty of these parks for generations to come.

3.  Fun and Games: Enjoy daily entertainment at the Brewer Fountain during your lunch break in the summers. brewer fountain entertainment

4. It’s your back yard! Whether you live in the city or outside of it, the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue mall are places where you are likely to spend some time. Supporting Friends will help make sure these spaces stay clean and beautiful so you can enjoy them whenever the mood strikes.

5. Preserve Boston’s trees! The Friends work hard to make sure Bostons’ trees are healthy and thriving, by identifying and preventing the spread of Dutch Elm Disease, regular pruning and removal of pests.

duck6. Make way for Ducklings and other sculptures like it. Installing this sculpture is certainly one of our cutest accomplishments.

7. Roses Roses Roses. Friends is responsible for maintaining the Public Garden’s rose gardens.

8. Keep those sculptures looking shiny and new. Since 2010, the Friends have worked to maintain

A dog dressed up on Duckling Day 2010
A dog dressed up on Duckling Day 2010

the 44 statues in the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. The cost of cleaning a sculpture is less than $1,000, while the cost of a full-scale restoration is upwards of $20,000. Your support now means we can keep costs lost while keeping these wonderful parks looking their best.

9. Duckling Day. The most adorable Mother’s Day Celebration there is.

10. Anyone who donates before May 1 will be entered into a drawing to win lunch for two at the Four Seasons!

Click here to join the Friends of the Public Garden.

Some Monumental Birthdays

Boston Massacre Memorial – Photo from Wikipedia

This past weekend’s celebration of the Make Way for Ducklings statue inspired us to delve into the history of other notable monuments in the Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Ave Mall. We’ve compiled a list of three monuments from each of these wonderful public green spaces and included the date they were constructed. If you feel like singing Happy Birthday sometime in the future, we hope you will consult this list for your birthday wishing needs!

The Boston Common

The Boston Massacre Memorial was dedicated on November 14, 1888, which means that it will turn 124 this year. Every year on March 5th, the Bostonian Society reenacts the events of the massacre.

On May 31, 1897, the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial was unveiled at the Boston Music Hall. It will be turning 116 this year.

Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, photo from National Park Service

One of our most prized renovations, the Brewer Fountain, originally began working the day of June 3, 1868. For its 145th birthday next summer, we will wrap up the final phase of the renovation with:

  • The restoration of the historic iron fence and a planted edge along Tremont Street to separate the park from the busy thoroughfare
  • Reduction of the Lafayette Mall path parallel to the street to 20 feet to expand green space
  • Realignment of the planted islands to strengthen the connection between Park Street station and the Brewer Fountain Plaza
The Brewer Fountain, photo by Celebrate Boston

The Public Garden

It may be no coincidence that the unveiling of one of our founding fathers was held the day before Independence Day. On July 3, 1869, the equestrian monument of George Washington was presented to the city of Boston.

George Washington, Photo from Wikipedia

The Ether Monument, also known as the Good Samaritan, was erected on October 16, 1846, meaning that its 166th birthday is coming soon! The monument was built to commemorate ether as an anesthetic, and is the only one in the world dedicated to a drug.

The Ether Monument, photo from Boston Art Commission

Anna Coleman Ladd’s Triton Babies Fountain was relocated to the Public Garden in 1924, and was the Public Garden’s first statue constructed by a woman. The babies may look young but they will be 89 this year.

Triton Babies Fountain, photo from http://www.everytrail.com

The Commonwealth Avenue Mall

William Lloyd Garrison‘s sculpture was built in 1885, making him quite the old man at 128-years.

William Lloyd Garrison, Photo from Wikipedia

The statue of Leif Erikson was erected in 1887, but later moved to Charlesgate East in 1917. This statue will be 130 this year!

Leif Erikson, Photo from http://www.andywoodruff.com

The Boston Women’s Memorial was sculpted by Meredith Bergmann in 2003. The memorial’s 9th birthday is coming up on October 25th, making it a true youngster amongst veteran sculptures.

The Boston Women’s Memorial, Photo from CityofBoston.gov

Tree Trivia

With the ALB Seminar coming up tomorrow we thought it would be fun to share some facts about the trees that will be saved when we can properly identify and eradicate the threat posed by this invasive insect. Hope you enjoy our tree trivia and that we see you tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the Franklin Park Golf Course Club House for a free information session about how you can save the trees we love so much.

Tree Trivia:

  • Did you know that every year, the Boston Common receives their Christmas tree from Nova Scotia? It serves as a thank-you to the Boston Red Cross and Massachusetts Public Safety Committee, which provided relief efforts in the province after the Halifax Explosion in 1917.
  • When the Brewer Fountain Plaza re-opened this May, the improvements included an additional 32 elms surrounding the fountain area in the Boston Common.
  • In its native China, a redwood tree can grow up to the size of a ten-story building. We are lucky to have a Dawn Redwood in the Public Garden!
  • The willow tree in the Boston Public Garden has served as an iconic subject for thousands of artists, photographers and tourists throughout the years.
  • During the American Revolution, the Sons of Liberty gathered under one of the largest trees in the Boston Common to protest Great Britain’s eradication of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The tree became the Liberty Tree. When British loyalists eventually cut it down, the Sons re-named it the Liberty Stump.
  • The Boston Public Garden contains hundreds of different types of trees. Some are native to the Garden and others have been brought in from exotic locations around the world.
  • The Boston Common possessed the first tree-lined pedestrian mall on its Tremont Street side.
  • Did you know that the Boston Common and Public Garden are on a list of the best parks in the world by the Project for Public Spaces?
  • Many of the trees in the Boston Common have Latin-based names. It was once expected that proper Boston schoolchildren knew both the Latin names and the English translations for the trees.

As always, we’d like to thank the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and our arborist Norm Hellie for all their hard work in maintaining the trees we love in the Public Garden and the Boston Common.

Jazz it up at the Brewer Fountain

The Public Garden and Boston Common have long been home to a great variety of talented musicians. It is hard to imagine a leisurely stroll through the Public Garden without the lonely croon of a saxophone or lively pluck of a violin wafting through the air.

But this summer music is front and center right next to the Brewer Fountain. Jazz Trios and Quartets will entertain visitors in the Boston Common on Thursdays from 5-7 p.m.

The piano that they will use has a unique history of its own. Built in 1885 in Cambridge, the piano was rescued from storage earlier this year and was donated by M. Steinert and Sons. A&P Woodworking in East Boston was then able to transform the ancient instrument into a sophisticated machine of 19th century design and 21st century technology. The piano is newly equipped with a FP7 keyboard, a mixing board and a speaker system, all powered by a solar collector located on top.

Expect to see one of Boston’s most prized musical instruments every Thursday for the rest of the summer. Watch the video clip below for a preview!