It has taken years to get this far - first to determine who owns the property, then to raise money, and finally to complete the design.
At first it was difficult to get any traction on this project because the land had no obvious owner and it wasn't even shown on the City's assessing maps. But it was a mess of trash and weeds that needed to be improved, even if it was hard to convince people at City Hall or elsewhere that the land really did exist (this was back in the days before Google Maps and today's ubiquity of online aerial photographs). I even tried, without success, to interest Governor Weld in the project when I met him sitting at the bar of the Border Cafe on the day of the April Fool's Blizzard of 1997.
But the Lincoln Street Green Strip, the slope between Lincoln and Cambridge Streets near Royal and Mansfield, is now starting a much needed transformation.
With funding from the Boston Department of Neighborhood Development and the New England Foundation for the Arts, the artist team of Legge Lewis Legge has designed a set of raised steel planters and vertical sculptures for the site. Fencing is being reduced and overgrown plants are being controlled.
There is precious little public art in Allston and Brighton and yet, if we look opportunistically, there are many urban nooks and crannies where something interesting and attractive, maybe a tree or piece of sculpture, could be installed. I hope that this project both improves this piece of land but inspires other improvements to our public realm throughout the neighborhood.