The Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) on July 28 approved the re-installation of a flagpole in Jamaica Pond Park in a new location after it was removed in 2019.
Lauren Bryant, a project manager for the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, said the flagpole was removed for “a few different reasons,” including that it blocked circulation patterns which did not allow for ADA access.
Originally, the removal of the flag raised no concerns from the community when work was proposed for the park last year, but she said that recently, veterans who walked the pond every morning and saluted the flag said they miss it and asked the City to replace it.
A new location is being proposed for the 25 foot flagpole, which landscape architect Kyle Zick said would be “in and amongst newly restored benches, but not directly in between the view between the two buildings,” referring to the buildings on Boathouse Plaza where the other pole was located.
There is an excess of wheelchair companion spaces that were installed between benches at the park, so Zick said that placing the flagpole in one of these spaces would not be “jeopardizing ADA compliance.”
The pole would be an anodized bronze with an anodized aluminum ball on the top. Bryant said that the veterans would be in charge of raising and lowering the flagpole each day.
Commissioner David Berarducci said that this new flagpole “will have a different presence than the original one did. This one seems to be tucked in anonymously. I don’t have a strong feeling about it one way or another.”
Zick said it was a “deliberate” choice not to place it back in the original spot, because “we wanted the space in between the buildings to be more open.”
Bryant added that they also wanted the landscape to remain the way Olmsted had it, which did not include the flag pole in between the two buildings.
The BLC approved the proposal as presented.