Mayor Fulop and the Department of Infrastructure have announced the creation of a one-acre perimeter park surrounding all four sides of City Hall.
Under the plan, the employee parking lot behind City Hall will be removed and converted into park space, nearly doubling the amount of green space around the building.
“Any time of day, you will find people walking their dogs or socializing in front of City Hall, and this will be the latest addition to the dozens of new parks we’ve built and park improvements completed in recent years as part of our efforts to expand critical community amenities and further invest in residents’ health and wellness,” said the mayor.
The City Hall Park design will utilize recommendations from the recently completed Open Space Master Plan and the soon-to-be-completed Year of Open Space.
“As a part of the Year of Open Space, we have been identifying innovative ways to create more parks and public spaces in our City. By replacing the concrete and asphalt around City Hall with a green park, we are advancing a more environmentally sustainable and equitable use of this public space for all to enjoy,” added Barkha Patel, Director of the Department of Infrastructure.
Work to the area surrounding City Hall will include improvements to the plaza in front of City Hall along Grove Street, including greening the concrete hardscape in both the front and back of the building and replacing the concrete with tree plantings, flower gardens, and other landscaping for beautification and stormwater absorption. Benches, picnic tables, and lighting will also be added throughout the grounds.
In the announcement, the administration noted that City Hall has been flooded multiple times in recent years as the area experiences more frequent and more severe weather events. Located in a FEMA flood zone, the Fulop Administration plans to further resiliency and public health efforts by incorporating green infrastructure aspects throughout the renovations, including stormwater absorption, flood mitigation, and sustainable features.
A Request for Proposal (RFP) to acquire a consultant for the design and construction of City Hall Park will go before the Municipal Council at next week’s scheduled meeting on December 14.
Improvements to the green space come amidst renovations to the interior and exterior of City Hall.
Inside City Hall, the design process is, according to the mayor, moving forward to build out the unoccupied fourth-floor space to add employee offices and conference rooms occupied by the newly created Department of Infrastructure.
The exterior and interior City Hall improvements are part of the administration’s broader efforts to renovate and upgrade the 126-year-old historic building aimed at providing an improved working environment and more efficient services for residents.
Other recent improvements to the building include:
- Repointing work strategically improving the historic exterior walls of the building to mitigate damage from stormwater.
- Restoration of the historic tile throughout the building.
- Basement renovations to transform unused space into dozens of offices and conference rooms.
- Electrical and fire suppression upgrades.
- Build out of the fourth floor to add capacity for office and conference spaces.
- Elevator upgrades with service extension to the fourth floor.
Parking along Montgomery Street will be converted to City Hall employee parking during regular business hours, with residential parking permitted during off hours, overnight, and on weekends. An ordinance to implement the parking modifications will be proposed early next year for the City Council’s consideration.