Egleston Square Main Street shared some good news recently -- it sounds like the city is going to purchase the property of the Egleston Square Peace Garden from Clear Channel and make it into a permanent community park. In a post on the Egleston Square Main Street website, Mayor Michelle Wu’s State of the City address in February, in which Wu said, “We worked alongside residents in Egleston Square and business partners to secure a Community Peace Garden on Washington Street.”
"What this means is both the City of Boston and Clear Channel are now working collaboratively toward the outcome we’ve all been advocating for. A final purchase and transfer of property for open park space takes a long time, but our partners at the City feel positive and excited and are working hard to move the process forward," said Main Streets' page. The property has a long history within the community and Clear Channel. In December 2021, Clear Channel listed the property for sale for $1.1 million.
The following is an open letter to our communities in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and our elected officials about the Egleston Square Peace Garden:
We have all been concerned about the condition of 3127 Washington Street, also known as the Egleston Square Peace Garden at Washington and School Streets.
Clear Channel Outdoor, an outdoor advertising company, owns this parcel and operates a billboard there permitted in 1980. Clear Channel is legally responsible for the condition of their property. They installed a fence around it beginning around Nov. 11 after receiving pressure to do so from the city of Boston Inspectional Services Department because of multiple code violations recently found there. Seeing this fence stirs up many emotions, including anxiety for people who have been receiving outreach and services there.
A bilingual community reading and discussion of Frederick Douglass' 1852 speech "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" on July 11 will kick off a series of anti-racist summer programming in Egleston Square. This will be the fifth annual reading of Douglass' speech in Egleston Square. This year's event is at the Egleston Square Peace Garden at 3129 Washington St. The event is being co-moderated by Anne Hernández, a social worker for Boston Public Schools, and Adjunct Professor at Boston College School of Social Work, and Josué Sakata, Assistant Director of History and Social Studies for Boston Public Schools.
The Egleston Square Main Street organization is seeking an executive director. The application deadline is Jan. 11, 2019. During the past 20 years, Egleston Square Main Street (ESMS) has become one of the leading Main Street organizations in the City of Boston and is now poised for growth. ESMS seeks an energetic and resourceful director to implement our economic development and community organizing program.
The director of Egleston Square Main Street was one of 13 Bostonians honored recently for their dedication to the community as part of the first Love Your Block Civic Engagement Ceremony. Luis Cotto was an individual winner for the "Vacant Lot Revitalization Award" for his leadership in transforming two vacant spaces on the border of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. One is the Peace Garden, located on the corner of School Street & Washington Street. The second lot, will be known as Robert Lawson Park, is on the corner of Atherton Street and Columbus Avenue. "I applaud all the award winners on receiving this honor and those who show everyday a commitment to improving the community around them," said Mayor Martin Walsh via press release.
Luis Edgardo Cotto is going to Puerto Rico to help in relief efforts and bringing items to assist with longterm necessities such as clean water and electricity. Cotto, the executive director of Egleston Square Main Street, has opened up its office at the Egleston Square YMCA to receive donations. He has also created an online fundraising page. "My plan is to go to Puerto Rico to personally deliver (and install) solar lanterns, water filtration systems and 50w solar kits in the town of Cidra, Barrio of Montellano, Sector of La Bloquera," said Cotto to Jamaica Plain News. A sector is to Cidra what Egleston Square is to Boston -- a neighborhood.
Several local community and business groups will hold a meeting Wednesday morning to encourage the city to "even the playing field" for small business owners. The meeting was called by leaders from JP Local First, Egleston Square Main Street, City Life/Vida Urbana and the JP Neighborhood Development Corp. It will be at 10 a.m. at the Egleston Square YMCA, 3134 Washington St. Business owners are encouraged to attend. The meeting will be with Karilyn Crockett of the city's Main Streets program and Lydia Edwards of the Office of Housing Stability.
Thirty volunteers of all ages from John Hancock and Youth Build descended on the Peace Park on Wednesday to build a new stage, paint, lay bricks for a new patio, spread mulch and plant flowers in one of the biggest volunteer improvement projects since the Peace Park was completed in 2000. Organized by Egleston Square Main Streets, the volunteers got the Peace Park ready for a summer that includes monthly concerts beginning June 20 at noon. The gallery below gives peek at all the work done.
3200 Washington Street as proposed. Looking south. Credit: 3190 Washington St. LLC
A three-man development team plans to build the largest housing development in the history of Egleston Square; a community it describes as "a vibrant [one] that owes its vibrant identity to its diversity to ethnic, racial, age and economic patterns." 3190 Washington Street LLC, managed by Justin Iantosca with partners Paul Iantosca and Dan Mangiacotti, has acquired the 3/4 acre that includes Economy Plumbing and E+J Auto at Washington Street, Montebello and Iffley Roads. A three building, $20 million, 76 unit development is proposed, to include two 5-to-6 story buildings facing Washington Street.
Boylston Street Art Walk, January 2015. Credit: Luis Cotto, Egleston Square Main Street
Luis Cotto, executive director of Egleston Square Main Street, shared this snow free image from all the way back in January (seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it?). As Cotto writes on the Egleston Square Main Street Facebook page, the Boylston Street Art Walk is "an initiative of our Egleston Coalition members JP New Economy Transition, The Urbano Project and the Egleston Farmers Market as well as the Boston Brewing Company." Each weekday we post an image from around the neighborhood. If you have a photo that screams (or even whispers) "Jamaica Plain," here are four ways to nominate it as our "Photo of the Day":
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