Plans for public park anything but Common

by Beacon Staff • March 3, 2011

At issue: Improvements to Boston Common

Our take: New amenities are awesome for Emerson students

Don’t ya just hate when you’re sitting on a park bench and the sun is in your eyes? Ever find yourself longing for some piano accompaniment for your afternoon stroll? And isn’t it just the worst when you forget pocket chessboard at home?

No worries, kiddos. By this time next year, a new spring break hot-spot complete with an outdoor piano, chessboards, and more is moving to our front yard. Its name? Boston Common.

Throughout its history, the Common has undergone more than just a few face-lifts; it’s practically the Joan Rivers of public spaces. Consider that it wasn’t until 1817 before the gallows used for public hangings were removed, and that as late as 1830 you could still bring your cow out for a quick snack on the pasture. Now, in 2011, it’s getting one of its biggest improvements yet.

Friends of the Public Garden, a non-profit organization working to bring new amenities including Wi-Fi access and board game tables to the historical park. The renovators will also fix up cracks in the sidewalk, build a piazza fit with 30 tables and 70 movable chairs, and plant more greenery.

We know what you’re thinking: How can someone come in and change the historical landmark that is Boston Common? But the truth is, change is actually staying true to the park’s spirit—the Common has always been a place to enjoy yourself. And think about it, if no one had changed it at all, we’d still have gallows. And that friends, is a pretty major mood kill.

So don’t worry. Now you can still enjoy the beauty of the nation’s oldest public park, while tweeting about that squirrel who wont stop staring at you or googling stress management techniques in the midst of studying for that Mike Brown exam. And of course, you can do what previous Emersonians have only dreamed of in their heart of hearts—log on to WebCT in the gazebo.

For Emerson students, the Common is our quad. We’re the “campus on the Common” after all. Which means now we can look forward to being able to continue doing what we already love: playing Quidditch and having picnics packed with food from the Max to the accompaniment of sweet piano melodies and kids pushing each other around on “movable chairs.”

The Common has been through quite a bit of change, and we’re lucky to see this one first hand.