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Museum Proposed for Big Dig “Parcel 9”

Boston, MA – The Boston Museum submitted a proposal today to build a striking new museum at the corner of Blackstone and North Streets, adjacent to the Rose Kennedy Greenway and along the Freedom Trail in downtown Boston. The Museum is planned to be a centerpiece among Boston’s attractions that will educate visitors and residents about Boston’s unique history and its impact on the region, the country, and the world.

View of the proposed Boston Museum from the Rose Kennedy Greenway

The Museum proposal, submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, owner of the Big Dig “Parcel 9” site, also contains detailed plans for a ground floor public market which will provide modern, indoor space for many of the historic Haymarket pushcarts on their traditional market days.

“Our proposed Museum and market building, linking the city’s oldest block to its newest park, will enliven the Rose Kennedy Greenway and will generate substantial economic activity, civic pride, and increased awareness of Massachusetts’ rich historical assets.” says Frank Keefe, CEO of the Boston Museum. He adds, “Boston competes with Philadelphia, Washington, and many other American cities in the market for tourists who are interested in history. Almost every one of these cities has recently embarked upon a significant effort to build, renovate, or expand a history museum.”

An independent economic analysis conducted by ConsultEcon concluded that “The Boston Museum has the potential to be a stimulus to tourism revenues in Boston and Massachusetts, making a significant contribution to the area’s tourism goals and economy while educating, inspiring and entertaining both its residents and visitors.”

The Museum will celebrate the uniqueness of Boston and its environs through five interactive galleries on innovation, sports, politics, people, and growth. Visitors will travel via glass elevators up to the fifth-level Boston Gallery, where they will watch an introductory video, enjoy the panoramic view, and gather information for exploration of the city. As visitors descend to the lower floors, they can spend time in one or all of the Museum’s galleries before continuing on their visit to the Freedom Trail and other attractions. In addition to the five permanent galleries, a travelling exhibit gallery will provide an ever-changing array of informative and educational exhibits.

Says Linda Whitlock, Boston Museum board member and former President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, “The Museum will become an important educational resource for students of all ages, and especially for Boston elementary and secondary students who will not only learn about the development of our city and region, but also about people like themselves whose great achievements have had profound impacts on our world.” She adds, “We have already launched our educational mission through partnerships with organizations such as Mass 2020 and Facing History & Ourselves and worked with Boston Public School teachers to create pilot programs at three Boston middle schools.”

The Museum’s ground floor will be designed to feel like part of Boston’s Haymarket, with 20-foot ceilings and large garage-type doors that can be opened in mild weather to create a seamless flow of indoor/outdoor activity along Blackstone Street. Storage and waste disposal facilities for all Haymarket pushcart vendors will be provided, and awnings over the Blackstone Street sidewalk will provide shelter for many of the vendors who remain outside. On the days when Haymarket does not operate, the ground floor will host the Boston Community Marketplace, with vendors from Boston’s diverse ethnic communities selling grocery staples and other packaged foods, fresh foods, and traditional ready-to-eat items.

The 100,000 square-foot building will have a “green” roof and will be designed to achieve LEED certification for energy and environmental design. Designed by Cambridge Seven Associates, the building’s curved glass façade faces the Greenway, while its brick Blackstone Street side will fit in with its neighbors on the historic Blackstone Block. The building will step down in height from the North Street end to a one-story market pavilion near Hanover Street—permitting unobstructed views of the Blackstone Block historic buildings from the North End.

“The Boston Museum as a major part of the Rose Kennedy Greenway perfectly captures the spirit of how this new space is meant to serve Boston, as envisioned in the planning for the Greenway,” says Richard A. Dimino, President and CEO of A Better City. “In the near future, we will see the Greenway further knit the city together as it provides a place for everyone to enjoy a wonderful mixture of culture, civic uses, and open spaces.”

For more information and images about the Boston Museum and the Parcel 9 proposal, please visit

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