Navy Yard Activation Request Gets Huge Response for BPDA

By Seth Daniel

Charlestown’s Context has big ideas for Pier 5, call for a multi-level development
that would include an amphitheater and science center on the bottom floor, with condos and retirement units (for former marine workers) above.

Some 16 outfits submitted ideas and plans – from simple light installations to full-on urban plans – to the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) on Friday in response to the agency’s Request for Ideas (RFI).

The requests came from as nearby as Charlestown and as far away as Spain.

There are simple ideas like a kayaking and tour company from a local man, to a grand reuse of the Dry Dock 2 that would create climbing walls, an amphitheatre and the Charlestown Frog Pond.

Those submitting ideas included:

•Peter Agoos of Fort Point with buoyed floating art proposals.

•Arrowstreet Architects with signage proposals.

•BOS/UA of Boston with a full re-use plan of a dry Dry Dock #2.

•Boston Harbor Now, a non-profit partner with the Boston Harbor Islands, with a proposal for floating pools, an urban beach and pop-up retail.

•Charlestown Marina, of Charlestown, with a proposal for Pier 5 to create a community pool and event space operated by Navy Yard Hospitality.

•BRV of New York to provide multitudes of programming.

•Context of Charlestown with an innovative plan for Pier 5 to create a amphitheatre and lofts/retirement units for retired marine workers.

•Crown Castle Wireless to provide 16 wireless nodes within the Yard.

•DC Beane of Charlestown to provide an outdoor gym, a museum/ferry waiting area in the pump house, a boat launch on Dry Dock #2 and an urban lawn with boat slips for Pier 5.

•e-inc of Charlestown to provide educational and environmental installations such as a Marine Ecosystem Exploration area.

•ecosistema urbano of Spain with a comprehensive plan for the entire Yard that seeks to connect land with water using things like a water park, Ice rinks, water ziplines, shopping on the pier and a balloon festival.

•Masary Studios of Roslindale to provide a video installation in Shipyard Park and a light/sound installation in the Yard.

•Navy Yard Community Associates, the neighborhood association in Flagship, to take over Pier 5 and create open space, a wading pool/skating rink and shaded green space.

•Sea Boston LLC of Charlestown would partner with Charles River Recreation to open Constitution Paddle Sports and Tours to have kayak rentals on a gangway in Dry Dock #2, as well as guided kayak tours.

•Shipway Place Condos of Charlestown is requesting signage for its buildings, and to be a part of the process.

•studioMLA of Brookline has proposed installing eight play cubes (6’ x 8’) throughout the yard. The cubes are modified shipping containers with fun things inside. They have been used on the Greenway in Boston.

All in all the BPDA indicated it was happy with the response and would be in a process of reviewing all of them and seeing what is a best fit.

The Friends of the Charlestown Navy Yard (FCNY) submitted a letter praising the exciting submissions, but urged the BPDA to focus on things that could be implemented.

“Several proposals have been previewed to FCNY by various groups and individuals,” read the letter signed by President Lois Siegelman. “While some of the proposals are at the surface exciting and creative, FCNY hopes that the BPDA will focus on proposals that stand a better chance of successful implementation like a kayak station.”

The FCNY also stressed that restoring the Pump House is a vital piece to this new process in their opinion.

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