Old Harbor Park

OldHarborPark_feature_charlesABirnbaum_2006.jpg
Boston, MA
United States
Old Harbor Park

Landscape Information

Part of the development plan for Harbor Point, this mile-long, waterfront park wraps the edge of Columbia Point just south of Boston. The Harbor Point redevelopment program transformed a declining 50-acre, 1500-unit, public housing project into one of the nation’s first successful mixed-income redevelopments. Revitalization efforts began in 1979 and continued until 1991, led by developers Corcoran Mullins Jennison (now Corcoran Jennison), master planners and architects Goody, Clancy & Associates, and landscape architects Carol R. Johnson Associates. Johnson’s firm developed the master plan for the linear park connecting the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library and the southern tip of Carson's Beach.

Used by both residents and the wider community for passive recreation and waterfront activities, the park provides public access to Boston Harbor and incorporates interpretive information about the harbor’s maritime history. A round promontory with seating, two shade structures and an inlaid map of Boston Harbor etched in granite offers panoramic views of the city. A small sandy beach for swimming includes picnic tables and a nearby playground. Access to the water is provided via wide stone stairs, while large granite blocks stabilize the slope down to the water and offer informal seating and places to fish. A wide range of deciduous trees were planted in small groupings and set within expanses of lawn, providing shade along the waterfront promenade. The park is edged by low berms which create a small separation between the public park and private development.