Mr. Peter Scarpignetto
Boston Public Works Department
Boston MA 02201
Regarding: Old Northern Avenue Bridge Demolition RFP Considerations
Dear Mr. Scarpignetto:
The Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design is a community group based in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood of South Boston. Our members, including many Boston-area residents and business owners, have facilitated the planning of a "neighborhood" in the Seaport District rather than strictly a commercial district. A chronicle of our work on behalf of our members is well documented on the SAND website at www.seaportalliance.org.
SAND has registered its position in support of preservation of the Old Northern Avenue Bridge. Our members are avidly seeking alternatives to bridge demolition and will work with respondents to the Bridge RFP in our quest to preserve this historic structure -one that many of us feel is intrinsic to the character of our Fort Point neighborhood.
I am writing you with regard to the RFP being drafted between the Public Works Department and the BRA to address demolition issues, should demolition be the inevitable outcome of the Bridge RFP selection process. Although SAND will continue to support preservation, we have the following request, and offer of our assistance, for you to consider:
- With regard to the demolition RFP, SAND requests that the Public Works department allow for the potential re-use of select elements of the Old Northern Avenue Bridge as sculptural monument(s) for the benefit of the Fort Point Channel community. These elements may include archways, gears, pilings and perhaps portions of the wooden bridgemaster house. We ask you to consider applying a reasonable budget to the re-use of select elements, to host a simple public process for sculptors, artists and developers to select these elements, and to include appropriate language in the demolition RFP that would require each demolition company responding to the RFP to be cooperative with the community, factoring the expense of reasonable structural element requests (and perhaps hauling costs) into their bids.
- At your request, SAND would be willing to create a public process for selection of elements from the Old Northern Avenue Bridge. We would provide a list of elements for re-use. We would work with the Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC) to identify artisans interested in participating. We would work with the BRA to find a temporary site for the storage of select components. And, we would host a series of public forums to identify developers and properties for permanent relocation. I will personally ensure that the process is simple and effective.
Our community is passionately committed to the preservation of the Old Northern Avenue Bridge. Surely, this community would appreciate your consideration of this proposal to create a monument, should demolition be the unavoidable conclusion. Please feel free to call me to discuss possibilities.
on behalf of:
The Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design (SAND)
cc: Mr. Thomas O' Brien, The Boston Redevelopment Authority
Mr. Paul Farrell, Save the Old Northern Avenue Bridge
Ms. Becky Dwyer, Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC)
Your comments as a visitor to the SAND website would be appreciated and forwarded for discussion.