Orchard, Nursery, Public Park: Franklin Park’s Next 100 Years

The drawing abstracts the location of street trees surrounding Franklin Park, creating new potentials to structure the space using tree canopy.

by Kira Clingen (MLA ’20)

“Orchard, Nursery, Public Park” seeks to reinvigorate Frederick Law Olmsted’s park design for Franklin Park through the replanting of the canopy. Since its planting 100 years ago, the park’s canopy, meant to provide respite from the dense urban condition, has become overgrown, creating a barrier between the park and the neighboring communities of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. This project extends the urban grid into the park, creating linear parkways that dissolve into a series of actively programmed recreational courts and passive, meandering walks leading to courtyard clearings, some accessible, others yielding to the existing contours on the site. Across Franklin Park, the project utilizes a nursery planting typology based on the soil and slope conditions, with orchards of apple and pear varieties dispersed throughout the park. The use of canopy to structure the space ensures the park’s surrounding residents will experience generous changes across the site as the trees mature over the next 100 years.