Restoration of historically significant landscapes has been a focus of Brown, Richardson and Rowe’s practice.
Our work along the Charles River typifies our approach to restoring and rehabilitating historic landscapes while collaborating with transportation and engineering professionals on infrastructure improvements along the river. The scale of our work has varied from developing design guidelines to preparing construction details.
BRR with Rizzo Associates (now Tetra Tech) assisted the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) with the preparation of the Historic Parkway Preservation Treatment Guidelines, a manual conceived to safeguard the special character of the historic parkways across the state, while also addressing safety. It contains a planning and design process as well as specific guidelines for the treatment of the parkway’s landscape and character-defining features, design controls, bicycle and pedestrian issues, alignment, lane width, curbs, guardrails, lighting, and drainage.
The user-friendly, illustrated document is intended to benefit many audiences across the state and nation. It is available on the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s website.
BRR also worked with Rizzo Associates on the Historic Parkways Initiative on the rehabilitation of historic Memorial Drive along the Charles River in Cambridge. The first phase included the removal of one travel lane, the addition of parkland, widened the pathway, and improved storm drainage and pedestrian/bicycle connections to Longfellow Bridge.
Phase two will involve resetting the historic granite capstones along the river’s edge, pedestrian and bicycle paths, site furnishings, and preservation of the character-defining features, designed initially by Charles Eliot.
View of Memorial Drive
Historic Anderson Memorial Bridge in Cambridge, MA, is another example of our work along the Charles. The bridge is located between two parkways along the Charles River Basin and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It links Harvard Square to Storrow Drive, Harvard Business School, Harvard’s athletic facilities and Allston. BRR worked with FST to improve the parkland adjacent to the bridge and pedestrian and bicycle connections.
The team has protected the historic character defining features that define this bridge and its approaches. The design also includes tree replacement, riverbank planting and meadow restoration.
Anderson Memorial Bridge
A third example of our work along the Charles River includes the restoration of DCR’s Historic Granite Overlooks, Commissioners Landing, the Dartmouth Street Overlook and the Gloucester Street Overlook. BRR assisted the design team by preparing plans to improve bicycle and pedestrian paths and to restore the decorative landscape elements (designed by Arthur Shurcliff in the 1930’s). These distinctive granite structures provide wonderful Charles River views and are very popular with pedestrians and boaters.
Historic Granite Overlooks
For more information, check out our website.