Sunday, December 11, 2011

Not a stitch of shade in this park.

There is a interesting story behind this steel structure in the North End. For anyone who doesn't know it is supposed to be a Pergola. It is meant to grow vines up and over the top. I went to every meeting in the planning process of the 2 parks that are built on the greenway. I was on the committee that guided the designers to make the park what it is today. 

In one of the last meetings the designers presented  this steel Pergola design. Nobody at the meeting liked it. We all wanted something softer and more human scale. They designers said too bad, times up, designs done. They shoved this design down our throats.

The designers promised that it would have climbing roses. That got axed during construction. The powers that be decided without trying that roses would not grow. Clematis (that dies back to the ground every year) was the vine they chose and planted on every pole. Now over half of them died. The vines need something to climb on. Something more than a vertical wire.

The North End got shafted in the Pergola design process. No Roses grow on the structure. Clematis grows on less than half of the vertical beams. I have a heard people comment that it looks unfinished. The Greenway Conservancy refuses to plant any real vines on the pergola because they are afraid the vines may have clingy roots. They are preparing today for when the Pergola needs painting 50 years from now. It looks like a remnant from the old elevated highway or a unfinished prefab Butler building frame.

 I want to add a painted vinyl canopy to the top of the Pergola. This will provide shade in a park.  At the moment the parks have less than 1% shade.

 I would also thought hanging flower pots off the poles would be nice.
You can ignore the green ivy in this photo sim its an old idea.
In the end we need to soften this steel structure with somthing.

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