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About AllianceViews

This blog is a place for dialogue on issues and actions relating to Boston's unique built environment and the preservation and continuing evolution of historic resources within it. My goal, as the Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance, is to post timely, relevant and thought-provoking intelligence, ideas, and insights that will engage conversations, inform our actions, and broaden perspectives on preservation.

We want to hear from you — so start a conversation, share a thought or comment, and let us know what you think.

Greg Galer, Executive Director, Boston Preservation Alliance

Executive Director

AllianceViews Blog

Boston’s own High Line?

Share your vision for the future of the Northern Avenue Bridge

April 14th, 2016  |  Posted by: Boston Preservation Alliance


The City of Boston, in partnership with the Boston Society of Architectsrecently announced an Ideas Competition for Bostonians to submit ideas for the future of the historic Northern Avenue Bridge, which has been closed since November 2014 and requires significant restoration. The official competition website states the following:

With the continued growth of Downtown and the South Boston Waterfront, Boston needs a Northern Avenue Bridge – one that enhances our mobility, celebrates our history, and creates a destination for the next 100 years.

We agree, and are enthusiastic about ideas for a preservation-friendly solution that maintains the historic character of the bridge while reconnecting Boston’s Financial District and the Greenway to the Seaport District.

As one of Massachusetts’ last remaining swing-span bridges, the Northern Avenue Bridge is a rare asset to our city. We’re encouraging broad participation in the competition and are hopeful that the competition will produce several submissions that focus on the unique historic characteristics of the bridge.



While the bridge needs serious work, repairing this century-old icon presents us with the opportunity to celebrate Boston’s past and future. Imagine it as a functional sculpture, a new home for boating on Fort Point, a gathering place, or whatever you can dream up with the historic bridge as the core of your plan.

The City has made it clear that statements from the general public will influence the final decision, so your continued engagement and vocal support is essential!

Goals of the Competition
Or in other words…successful entries will achieve the following:

  1. Improve mobility between downtown and the South Boston Waterfront
  2. Honor the history of the current structure
  3. Create a destination on the Fort Point Channel that unites neighborhoods and celebrates Boston’s connection to the sea

This contest is free to enter and open to all – ideas can be submitted in either essay or graphic format. Submissions will be accepted starting April 22, 2016 through 5:00 p.m. on April 29, 2016.

For additional information about submission requirements and prizes, as well as maps, reference reports and information on the bridge’s condition, download the official competition packet.

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