Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Pathways and Public Amenities in 1630 Eliot Burying Ground


Even as the cold sets in, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s Historic Burying Grounds Initiative has been proceeding with a important upgrades to the 17th century Eliot Burying Ground. Over the last several days, workers have been pulling up slabs and pieces of asphalt that are as much as forty years old.

This effort comes from a significant grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Signature Urban Parks Program to the City of Boston to make the historic site more accessible to the public. With these funds, the walkways will be replaced, the perimeter fence restored, and the puddingstone wall surrounding the site re-pointed.

The project also includes interpretive signage that will tell visitors the story of this site, its monuments and gravestone carvings, and the Roxbury families represented there since 1630. Both the pathways and signage designs are the work of KyleZick Landscape Architecture Inc.

The current work which we’ve been viewing from our windows at the Eustis Street Fire House is being undertaken by Folan Waterproofing and Construction Co, Inc. under the consistent supervision of consulting archeologist Barbara Donahue in order to make sure there is little surface disruption to the ground, and to document the pathway locations. The asphalt material will be replaced with gray concrete pavers identical to those in the downtown Freedom Trail burying grounds like King’s Chapel and the Granary. Total cost for the project is $175,000.

Long under lock and key, the Eliot Burying Ground could be opened regularly to the public come springtime 2015, just in time to welcome the Boston School Department to the new Bruce Bolling MunicipalCenter.  

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