The McLaughlin Park renovation is close to “substantially complete,” according to Boston Parks and Recreation Department project manager Allison Perlman. She said that “turf establishment” is mostly what is left to be done.
McLaughlin Park is located between Parker Hill and Fisher avenues on top of Parker Hill. Planning for the park’s renovation first began in 2014.
The project was originally slated to be mostly done last fall, but Perlman said several obstacles prevented that from happening. She said that a restriction with the grant the City received for the project delayed the contractor, Sequoia Construction, from starting work on time.
“We also didn’t receive the grant amendment until the
end of October,” said Perlman. “Ideally, all plantings would have been complete by mid-spring, but due to Sequoia’s schedule, many of the plantings were delayed until mid-June.”
She added that the City also received more grant money than expected.
“We received an additional $19,000, which provided for the new granite staircase connecting the upper terrace to Fisher Avenue, an additional wall below the overlook and perennial plantings to stabilize the slope below Ben’s Tower,” she said.
The renovation is creating a loop path on the upper terrace; adding new seating along that path; repairing Ben’s Circular Tower, as well as the stone stairs leading to it; installing an overlook area with seats in the southeastern portion of the upper terrace; and building a low wall along the park’s edge with Parker Hill Avenue, replacing the current guardrail.
Ben’s Circular Tower is a memorial for Ben Beland, according to the Boston Art Commission website. Beland, who died of cancer, was a child from Mission Hill who enjoyed playing at the park. The tower, which has large stones arranged in a circle and is designed to look like a castle, was created by artist Mags Harries.