Changes coming to the Boston Common

The first public park in America is getting a few updates. 🌳

A rendering of the Boston Common plans.

Expect more bathrooms, food options + athletic courts.

Rendering provided by Boston Parks and Recreation Department

Table of Contents

Imagine a new and improved Boston Common, complete with an expanded visitor center, more restrooms, a dine-in restaurant selling beer and wine, and more accessible pathways.

Plans are growing for these changes at the “People’s Park,” thanks to the Boston Common Master Plan. While there’s no official timeline for implementation, the plan serves as a blueprint for how the park will be transformed in the next 10 years.

Who planted this seed?

The project began in 2019 and has been an ongoing partnership with the City of Boston + the Friends of the Public Garden. The proposed updates came from 4,500+ community survey respondents, 13 neighborhood events, and three open houses.

Why is this important?

These changes are part of a mission to show how historic green spaces can evolve and adapt with the times, prioritizing urban oases as places that support the community’s physical + mental health.

What can we expect?

The plan has a few overarching goals to make the Common more accessible, inclusive, and resilient.

  • Enhance the visitor experience with upgrades to the visitor center, a new splash pad and two-story pavilion at Frog Pond + more benches and alternative seating.
  • Diversify recreation opportunities by adding new basketball courts, an enclosed dog park, and an expanded playground.
  • Deploy Common-wide improvements like planting more trees, adding new stages + podiums, and creating additional pathways for easier navigation.
  • Restore and clarify the 11 park edges and entrances (including the Shaw 54th Memorial + Park Street Station) with clearer signage.

Dig into all the details of the full master plan and make your voice heard — the city is asking for Bostonians’ input on project priorities. The public comment period ends on Wed., Nov. 30.

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