Last week, Charlestown lost one of its great civic advocates, a pillar of our community. Ken Stone died on Tuesday, January 11, at the age of 77. He was a community organizer, community supporter, and community champion. Ken moved to Charlestown in 1973. Since the mid1970s he campaigned tirelessly for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to create a beautiful park in City Square, continuing through the 1990s and 2000s as Governor of the Board of Assistants of the Friends of City Square Park and for the Massachusetts Highway Department to build an iconic bridge across the Charles River estuary at North Station. If you’ve ever sat by the fountain in City Square Park — the peaceful and handsome oasis that’s the gateway to Charlestown — and admired the dramatic view of the Zakim Bridge, you have Ken Stone to thank. If you’ve ever enjoyed the beautifully painted Parish House at St. John’s Church on Devens Street, or the copses of trees on Galvin Green, thank Ken Stone. If you’ve ever watched the reenactment of Paul Revere’s ride and Paul Revere’s row from the North End to Charlestown, or looked at the Old North Church through the dramatic archway at the south end of City Square, thank Ken Stone. Ken was adamant about bringing the history of Charlestown to life.
As a proprietor of a real estate firm for over thirty years, he knew Charlestown from the inside out and the ground up; he knew what was going on, from John Harvard Mall to Sullivan Square. Ken’s knowledge and love of Charlestown have benefitted us all. He had the ability, diligence, and determination to concentrate on several tasks at a time and seeing them through to completion. His last great unfinished projects were to extend the beauty of City Square to quiet Rutherford Avenue.