Landscape Architect: Michael Van Valkenburgh Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. 2008-2011
Currently under construction, Library Park will be a 1.75-acre landscape adjacent to the recently built but already extremely popular Allston branch of the Boston Public Library. In addition to providing park programming for neighbors and encouraging the extension of literary learning into the landscape, the new park will be a major threshold to the community. Library Park encourages pedestrian connections within the local community, between civic institutions, and to other landscape corridors such as the future Harvard Allston Greenway. The adjacency between residential properties and the park property required that the design team balance issues of ownership, public space, and privacy.
Exploration of sustainability and ecology at work in the landscape will be the basis for the park’s leisure-use program of seating and pathways. The park site was once part of the original Charles River marshland, but then later use as a concrete plant, and was given to the community as a Boston Parks and Recreation (BPRD) public park by Harvard as part of their Allston Campus development. Viewed as a pilot project in sustainability, the project will feature LED lighting, organic maintenance, increased ecological diversity, improved wildlife habitat, the reuse of salvaged fill, and the collection of surface runoff for groundwater recharge through rain gardens.