The BPDA is looking for ways to spruce up the Charlestown Navy Yard and turn it into a destination for people who have already seen Old Ironsides - with more art, history and use of the water. Earlier this week, the agency released copies of presentations from several design firms with ideas on how to "activate" both the water's edge and the three-mile Harborwalk section that runs through the Navy Yard.
Upton + Partners proposed a menu of options for the site that include a food hall, a "collaborative workspace" and a Ferris wheel that would shine across Boston Harbor at night. The company also said the site would do well with permanently docked boats, one of which could be designed as a floating school.
Upton + Partners is committed to creating a place where Charlestown residents can enjoy their own neighborhood, and visitors from around the world can share it too.
The company said the use of ships would be a key part of climate-change resiliency for a site that is right on the water in a time of rising seas:
Ships have much greater ability to cope with rising tides and hazardous climate than fixed structures. The very implementation of such a development highlights the importance of designing climate educational components on the topic of climate change and rising seas. The repurposing of vessels is environmentally friendly.
The Anthem Group proposed a beer garden, a theater/music space with up to 1,000 seats, a fall fire festival, winter skating and fireworks for holidays or just because it's summer, as well as an "ArtsCommons" that would feature regular interactive installations and performances.
Balance Architects and the Nolan Group proposed a series of waterfront restaurants, comparable to the Reel House in East Boston, at least one possibly housed in a docked tall ship, along with permanent light displays:
DC Beane and Associates is proposing "water activities" at Dry Dock 5, such as kayak rentals, new boat slips and repairs along the water.
Sea Boston proposed a "seasonal paddlesport and historic harbor tour facility." The tours would "will promote an awareness Boston's rich history and the consequences of climate change sea level rise." Also, it would be based at a dock, which floats, so it would be very resilient as sea levels rise.
The USS Constitution Museum would "turn the museum inside out" by building a picnic patio that would feature USS Constitution-themed art from local students and by installing outward facing graphics in museum windows. The museum would also install historical banners and historical life-sized figures along the Harborwalk.
All the presentations (125M PDF).