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Boston Wants Your Ideas For Reimagining City Hall Plaza

Boston City Hall Plaza, in late 2012 (Daniel Lobo/Flickr)MoreCloseclosemore
Boston City Hall Plaza, in late 2012 (Daniel Lobo/Flickr)

Have an idea to reimagine the oft-barren landscape that is Boston City Hall Plaza? Well, now's the time to put that idea down on paper (or Twitter) and let the mayor know.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Monday put out a call for proposals, part of "an effort that seeks to re-envision the important public space, cultivating an environment that contributes to the vibrancy of downtown Boston and City Hall," according to a release from his office.

“City Hall Plaza is City Hall’s front yard," Walsh said in the release. "While we’ve reimagined the interior entrance of the building, enlivening the space with public art, a coffee cart, and tables and chairs, the exterior needs new energy. This is the people’s plaza, and we’ve seen how it can bring the City together for international events and community events alike. I’m looking to our experts in architecture and urban planning for design, curation, and partnership ideas, as well as residents of Boston and other interested parties.”

The release mentions that City Hall Plaza has over 200,000 square feet of open space, and that it receives 20,000 to 30,000 people walking through daily. The release also cites notable recent uses of the plaza, from the Boston Calling Music Festival to World Cup viewing parties.

This is not the first call for a re-envisioned City Hall Plaza. This latest bid was first said by Walsh in his State of the City address in January.

That was a change for Walsh. As a candidate in 2013, the Democrat proposed selling the hulking, Brutalist City Hall and surrounding plaza to a private developer. He said the sale would generate up to $150 million for the city and clear the way for a new mixed-use development.

Earlier, in the mid-2000s, the late former Mayor Thomas Menino had also floated selling City Hall to developers.

To submit your proposal for the new plaza re-imagining, the so-called Request For Ideas (RFI) is available at cityofboston.gov/cityhallplaza.

You can also submit less-fully-formed ideas to the mayor's office via the Twitter hashtag #CityHallPlaza.

Earlier:

Benjamin Swasey Twitter Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital manager. He occasionally reports on economic and transportation policy, climate and social issues, and politics.

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