Making History on the Common

Fishweirs, sheep, protests, dancing, and colonial punishments return to Boston Common

Despite the rain on June 5th, just under 1,000 Boston elementary school children (grades 3-5) enjoyed the Friends of the Public Garden’s Making History on the Common on Boston Common!

It was a fun-filled, action-packed day where they learned about more than 1,000 years of history through various interactive activities.

Making History on the Common was made possible, in part, thanks to a grant from The David P. Wheatland Charitable Trust.

Friends of the Public Garden 47th Annual Meeting

It was standing room only at the Friends Annual Meeting on April 12.  After the usual Board business, Executive Director, Liz Vizza gave an inspiring summary of the year’s accomplishments to the attending members. Thanks to the generous donations of the members, the Friends was again able to make over a $1 million investment in the maintenance of the Common, the Garden, and the Mall focusing on trees, turf, and sculpture while also pursuing notable capital improvements.

Continue reading “Friends of the Public Garden 47th Annual Meeting”

The Nature of Cities: Practice and Perception

The Friends of the Public Garden is pleased to be a co-sponsor of the following event. 

FRIENDS OF FAIRSTED LECTURE SERIES 2016-2017

The Nature of Cities: Practice and Perception – investigates nature and the urban environment from the vantage point of a landscape architect, and a cultural historian.

DECEMBER 2016 LECTURE

From the Granite Garden to West Philadelphia (with a nod to the Fens):
Restoring Nature & Communities

Anne Whiston Spirn
Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning, MITanne-spirn-sm

Anne Whiston Spirn, our speaker on December 1st, has raised awareness of the segregation of ecology from urban planning ever since her publication of The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design in 1984.  For thirty years, Spirn has directed the West Philadelphia Landscape Project, an award-winning program dedicated to restoring nature, rebuilding inner-city communities, and empowering youth. She will describe this research-in-action, its impact on Philadelphia’s planning policies, and its lessons for more equitable and sustainable communities.

Thursday, December 1, 2016
6:00pm Reception | 7:00pm Lecture
Wheelock College, Brookline Campus
43 Hawes Street, orner of Hawes and Monmouth Streets, Brookline, MA
Seating is limited and reservations are required.
Reserve online or 617-566-1689, ext. 265

Celebrating Blooms and Updates on Olympic News

Rooftop View 1
View from Taj Boston

Greetings,

The greenery and flowers that we have patiently awaited are finally here in full force. Spring was an especially beautiful time of year to stroll along Commonwealth Avenue Mall under canopies boasting thousands of lush leaves, to traverse the Common on paths surrounded by green grass, and delight in the spectacular blooms in the Public Garden. Bravo to the City of Boston and its horticultural team led by Anthony Hennessy on this year’s spring plantings in the Garden; they were a sight to behold. Thank you to all who support these parks through membership in the Friends and your role as stewards.

Our work in collaboration with the Parks and Recreation Department to preserve and enhance these greenspaces continues. We met with representatives from Boston 2024 and were assured that the Public Garden will not be used as a venue for events or structures for the 2024 Olympic bid. This is welcome news. We are also pleased that the temporary beach volleyball stadium and ancillary structures proposed for the Common are being relocated. As we continue to monitor news of plans that will impact our parks, we look forward to discussions with Boston 2024 and City leadership to work toward a plan that is acceptable to all. In addition to advocating for appropriate use of our parks during the Olympics, we are meeting with groups that use the Common for large-scale events, to ensure that their impact is managed and mitigated. Our parks are wonderful places to play, celebrate with community members, and find moments of quiet solitude. We want to make sure that they are in excellent condition and available for all to enjoy. Thank you for sharing your voices to advocate for these irreplaceable greenspaces.

Summer is here and it is time for our annual Summer Party being held at the Taj rooftop on Wednesday, July 22! Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets to make this event an early sell-out. We look forward to toasting you, our members and supporters as we enjoy the view from the Taj rooftop and overlook the parks that you support so generously.

As always, please send us your feedback; we enjoy hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Anne Brooke, Chair
Elizabeth Vizza, Executive Director

Searching for the Histories of Boston’s Public Garden with Keith N. Morgan

Photo: Elizabeth Jordan
Photo: Elizabeth Jordan

The Friends of the Public Garden presents “Searching for the Histories of Boston’s Public Garden,” a lecture by Boston University Professor Keith N. Morgan.

Join us as we consider the creation, evolution, criticism, interpretation and enduring value of the most unusual public landscape in the city’s circuit of parks. From its origins as a private botanical garden built on filled marshland to the public horticultural and educational gem of the mid-Victorian era, the Public Garden became a site for controversy and celebration in its nearly two-century history.

Keith N. Morgan is a professor of History of Art and Architecture at Boston University, where he has taught since 1980. He has served as the Director of Preservation Studies, the Director of American and New England Studies, and the Chairman of the Art History Department. He is a former national president of the Society of Architectural Historians.

His publications include Charles A. Platt. The Artist as Architect (1985); Boston Architecture, 1975-1990, written with Naomi Miller (1990); Shaping an American Landscape: The Art and Architecture of Charles A. Platt (1995); the introduction for the new edition of Italian Gardens by Charles A. Platt (1993); and an introduction to a new edition of Charles Eliot, Landscape Architect (1999).   Professor Morgan was the editor and one of the lead authors for Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, (2009).   With Elizabeth Hope Cushing and Roger Reed, he has recently published Community by Design: the Olmsted Office and the Development of Brookline, Massachusetts, 1880-1936, (Library of American Landscape History and the University of Massachusetts Press 2013).

Wednesday, February 4
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Suffolk University Law School
120 Tremont Street, Boston
Admission: $15.00 per person (Pre-registration is required. Photo ID is needed to check-in.)
Purchase tickets

Enchanted Castle Puppet Show Coming to Boston Common

The Enchanted Castle - fairy photo

 

The Friends of the Public Garden will hold its annual Puppets on the Common event with a performance of “The Enchanted Castle,” on Friday, August 22 at 10:30 a.m.  Performance will take place near Parkman Bandstand.

Join princess “Crystal” and fairy Godmother “Glitter” as they tell stories, sing songs and teach the crowd how to be knights, princesses and princes. The show includes three short puppet stories. Children will have an opportunity to meet a fairy puppet, a dragon puppet and a unicorn puppet, among other things.

This event is free to the public and was made possible by a grant from the M. Holt Massey Charitable Trust.