AG reviewing Prouty group’s request to save garden

October 2, 2015
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LMA—The state Attorney General’s (AG) Office has received the request from the Friends of the Prouty Garden to stop the demolition of the green space on Boston Children’s Hospital campus and is reviewing the matter, according to the AG’s Office.

The Friends of the Prouty Garden hired a law firm, which sent the AG’s Office a letter in August requesting that it stop the demolition of the Prouty Garden. The AG’s Office did not give a timeframe on how long the review will last.

BCH plans to replace the Prouty Garden and the 55 Shattuck St. building with a new clinical building at the corner of Shattuck Street and Meadow Lane on its main campus.

The new space would include the creation of the Bader Garden, which would be an indoor/outdoor space next to the clinical building. A three-level, year-round garden would also be built as part of the project, along with a spiritual and meditation space on the top floor of the clinical building. A rooftop terrace for patients would be included with the project.

According to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society website, the garden was a gift from Olive Higgins Prouty, a local author, and opened in 1956. It is described as a “small pocket garden” and as a “quiet oasis” located behind BCH’s main building. The garden, designed by the Olmsted Brothers landscape firm, is modeled after the terrace and garden at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The Friends of the Prouty Garden had earlier this year petitioned the Boston Landmarks Commission to landmark the garden. That petition was rejected by a 7-1 vote. The group then hired a law firm and is asking the state AG’s Office to stop the demolition, saying it goes against the terms of Prouty’s gift and her will. For more information about the group, visit saveprouty.org.

BCH has said that the plan to replace the garden with a clinical building has been approved after a lengthy public process, that the proposal will add 25 percent more green space and that the Olive Higgins Prouty Foundation supports the hospital’s decision.

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