(Photo courtesy Brigham and Women’s Hospital)
The long drive of asphalt in front of Brigham and Women’s Hospital is set to be transformed into a lush park on the edge of busy Brigham Circle.
Hospital and city officials celebrated Wednesday as they broke ground on what will soon become the Thea and James M. Stoneman Centennial Park, a landscaped park providing trees and green space, and 400 underground parking spaces at the corner of Francis Street and Huntington Avenue.
“The Thea and James M. Stoneman Centennial Park will provide an inviting and very comforting space for our patients and their families who come here to the Brigham from all over the world,” Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, president of Brigham and Women’s and Faulkner Hospitals, said at the ceremony at the top of the cement and asphalt hill just outside the hospital’s original building built in 1913.
“It will also be a very welcoming space for hospital employes and neighbors and we welcome you, our neighbors, to come and relax and enjoy the outdoor space at well,” Nabel said.
The park project on the prominent corner of Brigham Circle will also allow the hospital to build 76 bicycle parking spaces and a larger MBTA bus stop with shelter.
(Photo by Johanna Kaiser for boston.com)
Officials hope the 400 underground parking spaces will also ease congestion on neighborhood streets as they reduces the number of patients and visitors parking in metered and residential parking spaces in the Mission Hill neighborhood.
“This hospital here, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital is one of the institutions that continues to give back to the people of Boston in many different ways...and now we’re going to have a beautiful park at the entrance of this hospital,” Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said.
Menino praised the project for adding green space to the Mission Hill neighborhood that its residents will be able to frequent and enjoy. He also praised the additional parking, noting how difficult it is for patients and residents alike to find a spot.
“It really is shaping up to be a win win win win win all around,” said Nabel.
The project is creating the equivalent of 100 full-time, year-round construction jobs, according to the hospital. The underground parking garage and park is expected to be open in Spring 2014.