City Hall Plaza has long been a place for public engagement and community building. However, over time, the original design of the plaza has not stood up to the demands of a 21st century civic space.
Luckily, with major investments from Mayor Walsh, the plaza is finally getting the attention it deserves, with a redesign that will be more accessible, sustainable, and welcoming for all Bostonians and visitors alike. This project is made possible by the Mayor's leadership, and is a cross-departmental effort, between multiple City agencies and external partners.
The Public Facilities Department are responsible for major renovations and new construction of city facilities. Examples include libraries, community centers, public schools, and police and fire stations. PFD is part of the Operations Cabinet and they are the department responsible for all aspects of the the design and construction of the Boston City Hall Plaza renovation.Property Management Department (PMD)
The Property Management Department is part of the Operations Cabinet, and is responsible for the programming, care, custody and maintenance of the renovated space upon final completion.Arts and Culture
With 11,000 square feet of terraces for interactive public art, as well as multiple event spaces both big and small, we are hoping that the Plaza will become a creative hub for Bostonians to express their creativity. The project team is working closely with the Arts and Culture department to ensure that all Boston artists feel welcomed on the plaza.Boston Parks Department
The days of a vast, wind-swept plaza are over.
With help from the Boston Parks and Recreation Department (BPRD) and the entire Environment Cabinet, the plaza will soon be home to 12,000 square feet of playscapes for children and families, as well as roughly 100 new trees. This renovation will also make the space much more environmentally resilient, by installing permeable surfaces that will soak up stormwater better than the brick and concrete that currently span the plaza.Disabilities Commission
With input from our colleagues and advocates within the Disabilities Commission, the plaza will be much more accessible for Bostonians of all abilities. From Congress Street to Cambridge Street, visitors will be able to navigate the landscape of the plaza via a handicap-accessible sloped promenade.
The new Plaza renovation is designed by , an award-winning, global design firm headquartered in Boston, with additional locations in Denver, CO and Shanghai, China. As Sasaki’s interdisciplinary design team—of landscape architects, architects, and civil engineers—conceived of the new design, they sought to modernize the Plaza, while still maintaining the original intentions and history.
The new design aims to connect Congress and Cambridge Streets with an accessible, sloped promenade activated by 21st century civic amenities like shaded seating and human-scaled gathering areas, a destination play space, and flexible event space accommodating up to 20,000 people.
The renovation to Boston City Hall Plaza is being completed by , an award-winning, employee-owned construction management firm. This historic transformation will deliver updated civic spaces and programming capabilities—as well as add infrastructure that will make the Plaza a welcoming, everyday destination for all.
Building on the firm’s world-class safety program, Shawmut has deployed enhanced safety protocols to mitigate the risk of infectious disease spread across all job sites—rolling out new procedures, jobsite innovation, and an exhaustive COVID-19 risk assessment and response plan nationwide. These protocols are implemented at the Boston City Hall Plaza site and include Shawmut Vitals—a custom-built technology platform which allows team members to self-certify daily health screenings by scanning a job-specific QR code and completing a survey.
(SIS) is the program management and consulting arm of Skanska USA Building and serves as the City’s Owners Project Manager on the City Hall Plaza Project. As program managers, Skanska functions as an extension of our clients' staff and serve as the center point of project team communications from conceptual planning through design, procurement, construction, commissioning, and closeout.