Boston 2024, a private group spearheading the city's bid to host the summer Olympics, unveiled an updated proposal Monday morning. One major change affecting JP would be that a pool is no longer being envisioned for Franklin Park. Looking at the new proposal from a city-wide perspective, the ambitious plan calls for the construction of two entirely new Boston neighborhoods. The proposal, dubbed 2.0, outlined plans for a temporary Olympic stadium that would seat 69,000, and would be completely repurposed or recycled after the games. Adjacent to the stadium, in "Midtown," are plans for 4,000 permanent units of housing, including 500 affordable units.
On Tuesday, resident Chris Hoeh took the podium at First Church to announce that Franklin Park Area Stop the Olympics was in place and in your face. Saying that "Jamaica Plain stopped I-95 and we can stop the Olympics," he urged everyone in the sanctuary to come out to the Mayors Boston Olympic Community meeting on June 30 to say Franklin Park and Harambee Park ( Franklin Field ) are not for the Olympics. "The meeting is a great opportunity!" In a hand-out, the group stated that Franklin Park Area Stop the Olympics was formed "in response to calls for locally organized resistance....We will help stop the Olympics and build the city we need." Hoeh - who lives on Adelaide street and is grade school teacher - spoke at the conclusion of a lecture by Smith College Professor Andrew Zimabalist on the "Economic Gamble of Boston 2024."
The city used part of Franklin Park, including a set of basketball courts near White Stadium, for a snow farm during the historic winter. The nasty snow did a number on the asphalt courts, according to Christine Poff, executive director of the Franklin Park Coalition. But crews are at work this week digging up the damaged basketball courts and replacing them. Workers using heavy machinery and shovels dug up and hauled off at least two truck loads of asphalt on Tuesday. Poff said the resurfacing should be finished soon.
A scene from the 2015 Franklin Park Kite and Bike Festival. Credit: Richard Heath
An institution in Franklin Park since 1968 and threatened with extinction not long ago after being evicted form its ancestral home on the golf course, The Franklin Park Kite Festival is making a comeback. The Franklin Park Coalition, collaborating with ArtRox and Bike Boston are making it a Kites and Bikes Day. Hundreds thronged the seven-acre Playstead on Saturday to fly kites, ride bikes, eat food or just chill on a fine spring day. One major improvement was the new sidewalk along Seaver Street for families and strollers and bikes to walk over from Elm Hill or Humboldt avenues and in the park from the Egleston Square entrance at Walnut Avenue.
Forty years ago, on May 9, 1975, I decided to become involved in Franklin Park. Nobody asked me. I just wanted to. I walked down to Freddie's Market at the corner of Williams and Washington Street and bought a box of plastic trash bags. I spent nine hours cleaning the Williams Street foot entrance to Franklin Park opposite 269 Forest Hills St. where my wife, Martha, and I then lived.