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Boston's Skatepark Finally Due To Break Ground26:18
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CLICK TO ENLARGE: Possible design concept for the skatepark's site. (Courtesy of Action Sport Design/Stantec)
CLICK TO ENLARGE: Possible design concept for the skatepark's site. (Courtesy of Action Sport Design/Stantec)

In the mid 1990s, well-known local sculptor Nancy Schön was told that skateboarders were doing tricks on her "Tortoise and Hare" sculpture in Copley Square.

"They said, 'They're ruining your sculpture.' So I ran down to Copley Square and I was mad as I could be and I started to talk to these kids," Schon said. "You know, they dress funny, and sometimes they have earrings and things that were new at that time. Well, the more I talked to them the more I discovered they were wonderful kids."

CLICK TO ENLARGE: Possible design concept for the skatepark's site. (Courtesy of Action Sport Design/Stantec)
CLICK TO ENLARGE: Possible design concept for the skatepark's site. (Courtesy of Action Sport Design/Stantec)

She urged officials to build a skatepark, and the idea for the Charles River Skatepark was born. It would be housed under the Zakim Bridge in East Cambridge and would be open to skateboarders, BMX riders and inline skaters.

But that was more than 10 years ago.

Since then, under the authority of the Charles River Conservancy, the project has churned through several different designers, has weathered government budget cuts brought about by the financial crisis and has seen a generation of skateboarders grow increasingly frustrated.

It's no wonder many are skeptical about news that plans for the skatepark are finally ready to roll.

Guests:

  • Renata von Tscharner, president of the Charles River Conservancy
  • Kanten Russell, former professional skateboarder and project manager at Stantec, the company designing the skatepark

More:

  • Charles River Conservancy: Charles River Skatepark

This segment aired on September 20, 2012.

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