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1927 Map of the Arboretum

Entrance Improvement Project

The many gates of the Arboretum serve as critical portals of welcome and orientation for our community. A conceptual rendering by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates illustrates possible improvements to the Arborway Gate entrance. MVVA, 2022
Rendering of the Arborway Gate

The Arboretum’s Entrance Improvement Project seeks to renew and improve the Arboretum’s many entrances to provide a safe, accessible, and welcoming experience for all visitors. To accomplish this, we will work with a leading, Massachusetts-based landscape design firm—Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates—to understand the history and current conditions of five key entrances:

  • Arborway Gate
  • Beech Path Gate (also called 383 South Street Gate)
  • Poplar Gate
  • Walter Street Gate
  • Washington Street Gate (adjacent to the Forest Hills subway station and bus terminal)

These five entrances, which comprise Phase 1 of the overall project, meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • They directly serve Environmental Justice Populations;
  • They provide Arboretum Access for adjacent public health institutions;
  • They align with concurrent City and State infrastructure projects along the Arboretum’s perimeter.

Through 2022-2023, the Arboretum will work with our design team—which includes Landscape and Olmsted historian Ethan Carr—to gather input from the community and multiple city and state agencies. Collaboration with stakeholders including the Boston Parks Department and Historic Landmarks Commission will inform the development of design plans to renovate Phase I entrances.

Project Goals

During the design process, the Entrance Improvement Project seeks to achieve the following goals:

  1. Improve ADA-accessibility, pedestrian safety, and bicycle access;
  2. Enhance entryway plantings and expand planting areas;
  3. Reduce paved, impervious surfaces;
  4. Renew and restore historic entranceway infrastructure, including walls and gates;
  5. Protect and enhance of view sheds into and out of the Arboretum;
  6. Improve way finding and interpretive signage.

We anticipate construction of Phase I renovations beginning in 2024. Once complete, Phase I will greatly improve accessibility, landscape design, and visitor amenities at five important entrances.

Visitor Survey

Please participate in a brief survey to help us improve our entrances!

This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.

Updates

  • In 2021, the Arboretum worked with Reed Hildebrand Associates to assess 16 existing Arboretum entrances around our perimeter.
  • In spring of 2022, the Arboretum partnered with Practice Landscape to develop a Request for Qualifications and Request for Proposals. We assessed submissions from eight leading landscape architecture firms before selecting and awarding the project to Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • In October of 2022, we kicked off the conceptual design process for Phase 1 entrances.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming community events are in the works. Please check back regularly.

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For more information about the Roslindale Gateway Path Project, contact:

Danny Schissler
Head of Operations and Project Management
Arnold Arboretum
dschissler@fas.harvard.edu