BRR Selected as an ICIC Winner

For the past 15 years, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) has called for nominations and selected winners of their Inner City Top 100 list.

The Inner City 100 program is a ranking of the fastest-growing companies located in America’s inner cities. The program spotlights and supports growing companies in urban areas.

Aerial View of Bremen Street Park, Courtesy Alex McClean

Aerial View of Bremen Street Park, Courtesy Alex MacLean

BRR was selected for the Inner City top 100 list from over a thousand nominees based on revenue growth over a five-year period and will be appearing on the 2013 Inner City 100 list to be published in FORTUNE.

BRR will attend the 2013 Inner City 100 Urban Business Symposium and Awards Presentation in May in Boston with Harvard Business School professors.

“The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City is a nonprofit research and strategy organization and the leading authority on U.S. inner city economies and the businesses that thrive there.”

BR+R Office above CVS

BR+R Offices, 3rd floor above CVS

For more information, see: www.icic.org

 

Design along the historic Charles River Basin

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.

(http://www.mass.gov/dcr/hpguidelines.htm).

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

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

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

Historic Granite Overlooks

For more information, check out our website.

Environmental Justice – Part 1

Throughout our 30 year history, Brown, Richardson & Rowe (BRR) has focused on designing, improving and providing access to public open space and recreation for underserved communities.  With the belief that all city dwellers should have access to green space, we have eliminated paving, provided for extensive tree planting, added community gardens and increased green space to reduce heat island effect and improve air quality.

Haverhill - Plan of Play Area

Haverhill – Plan of Play Area

The goal is to promote healthy urban living by improving access to community open space and recreation, reunite neighborhoods divided by large infrastructure projects and accommodate people of all ages.

Haverhill - Retaining Wall at Play Area

Haverhill – Retaining Wall at Play Area

In 2007, Governor Deval Patrick’s Administration established the Gateway City Parks Program to advance park equity and improve open space quality in 24 designated “Gateway Cities.”  BRR has been assisting the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA) with the assessment of park opportunities in support of this important state-wide parks initiative since 2009.

Taunton - Flowering Bio basin

Taunton – Flowering Bio basin

We continue to identify, evaluate, design and construct public park projects in underserved areas in many communities including Brockton, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lynn, and Fall River.  BRR looks forward to working on city parks throughout New England in 2013.

For more information, check out our website.

Riverfront Farm Master Plan

In the summer of 2012, Brown, Richardson + Rowe was hired to develop a master plan for a beautiful 56-acre private property in rural New Hampshire which includes a farm house,  barn and outbuildings, a working vegetable gardens and hay fields, and acres of conservation lands.

Riverfront Farm Master Plan

View of Farm

The planning effort began with the development of a program of site requirements ranging from small to large scale land uses that the owners wished to accommodate on their property.  BRR developed an overall vision including ideas for short and long-term improvements for the estate, farm and forest land.

Riverfront Farm Master Plan

Preliminary Plan Diagram

Proposed projects ranged from areas for grazing livestock, hay production, an apple orchard to vegetable and flower Community Sustained Agriculture gardens and fruit production.  We located compost and mulch piles, livestock pens and chicken coops, pig and goat pastures, and rotating grazing pastures for cattle.  The layout of fencing, water and electric lines, green houses and equipment storage was also considered.For the area surrounding the main house, we laid out a naturalistic swimming pool and explored the program for renovating existing structures for an apartment and studio, horse stalls and paddocks, garage and parking improvements, site walls, patios, planting beds, and lawn areas.

Riverfront Farm Master Plan

Schematic Plan for Estate Area

Providence Waterfront West Side Park

In November of 2006, Brown, Richardson & Rowe won the Providence Waterfront Design Competition.  The site is located on the west side of the Providence River on land that became available after the Route 195 overpass was removed during a highway relocation project.

Providence Waterfront West Side Park

Conceptual Plan

The four and a half acre park is designed to enhance important views and connections to the river and Downtown.  This important civic space will be connected by a new pedestrian bridge to a two-acre park on the east side of the river.   Parades can travel down Dorrance Street and end at the river’s edge via the park promenade that extends this important axis through the park.

The design includes a series of outdoor rooms that provide diverse types of spaces to accommodate visitors of all ages.  Expansive green lawns, beautiful seasonal plantings, various types of seating, views up and down the river, a river walk and spaces for outdoor cafes will encourage people to use the parks throughout the day and in different seasons of the year.

The focal point for the park will be an iconic work of art in the promontory plaza overlooking the water.

Providence Waterfront West Side Park

View towards river from Dorrance Street entrance – before

Providence Waterfront West Side Park

View towards river from Dorrance Street entrance – after

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation plans to start construction of the parks in 2014.

See more at Brownrowe.com/Portfolio

 

The Greening of East Boston – Greenway Extension

Brown Richardson + Rowe has worked with the East Boston Greenways Advisory Committee, Massport, and the City of Boston to develop final design plans for the East Boston Greenway Extension.  Construction is anticipated to begin in December of 2012.

The Greening of East Boston - Greenway Extension

Marsh Overlook

The Greenway Extension is the third segment of this important pedestrian and bike connector that BRR has designed in East Boston.  The project links the BRR designed segments to the south (Bremen Street Park) and to the north (Constitution Beach).

The multi-use trail will be a generous 12’ wide.  The trail site improvements proposed are: landscape plantings, irrigation, site furnishings such as trash receptacles, bike racks, benches, reused stone seats and accessible crushed stone paving, fencing and gates, signage, and site lighting.

Landscape plantings and improvements will create new green spaces on Neptune Road and at proposed overlook park at Wood Island Marsh.

The Greening of East Boston - Greenway Extension

View to Marsh

The connection will allow pedestrians and bike riders to travel continuously from Piers Park to Constitution Beach.  As a result, East Boston will have one of the longest multi-use paths in the City.

See more at Brownrowe.com/portfolio

Construction News – Renovation of Veteran’s Park, Holyoke, MA

Construction is well underway for $1.4 million worth of renovations to Veteran’s Park in downtown Holyoke, MA. Work began in late August with park completion anticipated in March of 2013.

Construction News - Renovation of Veteran's Park, Holyoke, MA

Site Improvements Plan

Originally known as Hampden Park, this downtown common, was renamed Veteran’s Memorial Park on January 22, 1962. It contains the Soldiers Monument “Female Liberty” which was formally dedicated on July 4, 1876. H.G. Ellicott of Virginia designed this memorial for the 55 people from Holyoke who died in the Civil War. Today, the park contains Vietnam, Korean Conflict and World War II memorials, shade trees, lawn, paths and benches. It is across the street from the new Multi-Modal Transportation Center.

In 2007, the Patrick Administration established the Gateway City Parks Program to advance park equity in designated Gateway Cities. Holyoke selected Veteran’s Park as the City’s preferred project. The Gateway Program has funded Brown, Richardson & Rowe’s design and the park’s construction. New LED park lighting, accessible interior walkways, planting, benches & trash receptacles and accessible pedestrian ramps to the park at the intersections of Chestnut Street with Hampden Street and Chestnut Street with Dwight Street will transform the park.

Construction News - Renovation of Veteran's Park, Holyoke, MA

Site Construction Fall 2012

Brown, Richardson & Rowe, Inc. is assisting the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA) with the assessment and realization of park opportunities in support of this important state-wide parks initiative.

See more at http://www.brownrowe.com/portfolio/parks/gateway-city-parks-program

 

 

 

 

The Greening of East Boston – Art in the Landscape

BRR had the privilege of working with renowned sculptor, William Wainwright, as part of Massport’s NSA Roadway project (which provides a buffer between Logan airport and East Boston and includes a new linear landscape, multiuse bike and pedestrian trail).

Our assignment was to work with Wainwright, his son, Dedalus, and Massport, to relocate WindWheels, the first outdoor sculpture commissioned by Massport.  WindWheels was originally located at Logan Airport’s Terminal C, in 1982.

Luckily for the general public, Massport recognized that the sculpture would be more visible if it was relocated to the new site.  It was rebuilt and relocated to a site along the newly constructed Frankfort Street in August of 2011 and dedicated in May of 2012.  This kinetic public art piece, is now visible from Route 1A.

According to Wainwright “The whole construction seems to me appropriate for an airport in that the air makes it work – it’s an obviously mechanical object like an aircraft. I hope it will entertain people arriving and departing, visiting and working at Logan Airport

The Greening of East Boston - Art in the Landscape

Windwheels – courtesy Alex MacLean

See more about William Wainwright at Boston.com

 

In the News – City Hall Plaza, Brockton, MA

On Wednesday evening, Brown, Richardson and Rowe presented two City Hall Plaza design alternatives to Brockton residents for their input.   BRR showed different ways to rehabilitate the plaza around this historically important building. Improvements include: a new accessible amphitheatre, new seating areas in sun and shade, a place for a farmers market, places for civic celebrations and musicians, new historically appropriate lighting, street furniture, decorative paving, and preservation of memorials on the Plaza that play an important part in the City’s history.

See more at http://www.enterprisenews.com/topstories/x1224698608/Brockton-City-Hall-Plaza-to-get-facelift

The meeting was sponsored by the City of Brockton Mayor’s Office, the Brockton Redevelopment Authority and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Gateway City Parks Program.

In the News - City Hall Plaza, Brockton, MA

View to City Hall – Before

In 2007, the Patrick Administration established the Gateway City Parks Program to advance park equity and improve open spaces in 24 designated “Gateway Cities.”  This program is funding the design in Brockton. Brown, Richardson & Rowe, Inc. is currently assisting the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA) with park projects in support of this important state-wide parks initiative throughout the Commonwealth.

In the News - City Hall Plaza, Brockton, MA

View to City Hall – After

See more at http://www.brownrowe.com/portfolio/parks/gateway-city-parks-program

The Greening of East Boston

This year, renowned aerial photographer Alex MacLean (www.alexmaclean.com) used a helicopter to fly over and photograph our work in East Boston.  At Bremen Street Park, Memorial Park, Logan Airport and Constitution Beach, we were able not only to improve existing open space, but also to design additional acres of parkland, to reduce heat island effect, improve air quality and connect passive and recreational open space.

Bremen Street Park includes a granite spray pool, community gardens, and an amphitheater.  The 18 acre park is a buffer between the neighborhood and the highway.  Neighborhood connections, such as the East Boston Greenway multiuse trail, were important design elements.  We collaborated with an artist on expressions of local history, a sculpture of Donald McKay, the father of the clipper ship, and on granite waves and a ship’s capstan.  Bremen Street Park was a finalist for the 2010 Urban Land Institute’s Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award.

The Greening of  East Boston

Bremen Street Park – Before

The Greening of East Boston

Bremen Street Park and Memorial Park
Courtesy Alex MacLean

The Greening of East Boston

Bremen Street Park
Courtesy Alex MacLean

Neighboring Memorial Park contains a stadium, several team sports fields and a large, unified open space.  It also connects to the neighborhoods, to the new Airport Station and Bremen Street Park. Together the parks provide a significant recreational resource for the community.

Since 1995, we have been part of the transformation of Logan International Airport and helped mitigate the effects of airport expansion on the neighborhood. Virtually every terminal, garage, road, and landscape is new or has been redesigned as part of the Logan 2000 Master Plan and the Big Dig’s I-90 Interchange and Airport Roadways projects.

The Greening of East Boston

Logan International Airport
Courtesy Alex MacLean

BRR is helping Massport extend the East Boston Greenway that runs through Bremen Street Park to Neptune Road.  This new landscape buffer between the airport and East Boston also improves connections to and from the neighborhoods.  The first outdoor sculpture commissioned by Massport, WindWheels, a kinetic public art piece by William Wainwright, was restored and installed as a special feature along the path.

We also designed Constitution Beach for the Metropolitan District Commission as part of the Back to the Beaches program.  The 28-acre park was cut off from the neighborhood by subway tracks.  The $4.6 million improvement package resulted in a blue pedestrian overpass across the Blue Line to the beach.  The bridge also crosses a new park entry drive and lands on a dune-like mound.  After using the bridge, visitors walk down paths bordered by plantings to the water’s edge. A segment of the East Boston Greenway here will ultimately connect to Bremen Street Park.

The Greening of East Boston

Constitution Beach
Courtesy Alex MacLean