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An Ice Skating Path And Outdoor Holiday Market Are Coming To City Hall Plaza

The city of Boston wants to make City Hall Plaza a cool place to hang out. This rendering shows winter activities planned for the public space. (Courtesy of Boston Garden Development Corporation)
The city of Boston wants to make City Hall Plaza a cool place to hang out. This rendering shows winter activities planned for the public space. (Courtesy of Boston Garden Development Corporation)
This article is more than 3 years old.

So the Ferris wheel is out, but an outdoor ice path is in.

It's part of a plan to give Boston City Hall Plaza a major face-lift — and make it more inviting to the public.

As we've previously reported, the city has been looking for ways to make City Hall Plaza a more appealing place to hang out. The city tapped Boston Garden Development Corporation for the project last spring. On Wednesday, the city announced it has signed a three-year contract (that started Sept. 1) with the company.

"This endeavor is the beginning of a joint venture that will help transform the plaza into a year-round destination, inviting the people of Boston to see the plaza come to life in new and exciting ways," Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement.

In its original proposal, Boston Garden Development Corporation said it wanted to transform City Hall from a "rigid, lifeless and impersonal" area into a year-round "liveable, active space." Its proposal then called for a Ferris wheel, a winter ice park and an urban beach in the summer. At least some of those ideas will move forward.

In the next few weeks picnic tables will be installed on City Hall Plaza. And later in the fall the area will be home to an outdoor holiday market and an ice skating path.

Here are a few more details on what's to come:

Holiday market (Thanksgiving through New Year's Day):

  • Will feature seasonal foods
  • A mix of local and international vendors in chalets

Winter features (After Thanksgiving through February 2017):

  • A custom-designed outdoor ice path for skaters of all ages
  • Skating programs; details to be announced at a later date

Steps to enhance City Hall Plaza have been iterative in recent years. The city installed artificial grass, hosted World Cup viewing parties and was home to multiple Boston Calling music festivals. This summer, the city hosted a social event for adults dubbed "Beer Garden on Bricks" on the plaza.

Related:

Zeninjor Enwemeka Twitter Reporter
Zeninjor Enwemeka is a reporter who covers business, tech and culture as part of WBUR's Bostonomix team, which focuses on the innovation economy.

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