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DID YOU KNOW?

Over $3.6 million in direct funds were spent to improve Edward Everett Square. In addition, it would be impossible to calculate the hours and expertise donated by committed neighbors, activists, bricklayers, artists, elected officials and community groups who also made the transformation of the Square possible.

QUOTE

“(This Artwork) will speak to who we were, who we are, and who we want to become!”

Maureen Feeney, Boston City Councilor
Dedication of Edward Everett Square Artwork,
October 16, 2010

 


Community Engagement The Artwork Dedication Slide Show: Community Engagement Slide Show:
The Artwork
Dedication

DEDICATION:

The revitalization of Edward Everett Square, and both phases of the public art works, were proudly dedicated in June 2007 and October 2010. Both events were spectacular community celebrations, richly orchestrated with the participation and attendance of local neighbors, residents, elected politicians, civil servants, community activists, educators, artists, youth and scholars. Detailed testimony of both events are found below. After such an elaborate and dedicated struggle to reclaim this important intersection, each ceremony reflected a true manifestation of community spirit, endurance, vision and tenacity.

Edward Everett Square Urban Design Improvements and the “Dorchester Clapp Pear”, June 16, 2007

On a hot June Saturday afternoon in 2007, Mayor Menino dedicated the “new” Edward Everett Square, with its $2.3 million road and traffic improvements, and Laura Baring-Gould’s unique and beautiful twelve-foot tall sculpture, the “Dorchester Clapp Pear”.

The young, talented Boston City Singers opened the program with the song “What a Goodly Thing”, followed by the invocation by Gil Solomon, Chief Sachem, Massachuset-Ponkapoag Tribal Council. In dedicating the artwork and improvements, Mayor Menino praised community project leaders and the City/Community collaboration as a precedent-setting model for other public projects in Boston’s urban environment.

The Mayor was followed by none other than Edward Everett himself (via actor Jim Cooke). The great old orator and statesman recalled an incident from his boyhood in Dorchester in the 1790s. Having heard the terrible roar of gunfire, he learned that a man had been killed in a duel. As Mr. Everett related this story to fellow townspeople two centuries his junior, he roused all 300 members of the audience to emotional and passionate applause as he appealed that the sound of gunfire had no place on the streets of Dorchester—past or present.

As Master of Ceremonies, community project leader John McColgan gave credit to the many individuals and organizations contributing so much to the project: the Mayor and the many City departments playing so many vital roles; the design consultants; the elected officials who consistently supported the project over the many years of its progress; the Dorchester Historical Society; Dorchester’s many civic associations; the many unions headquartered in Dorchester who supported the project with the purchase of inscribed bricks; the hundreds of others who purchased inscribed bricks in support of the community’s brick detail in the landscape; and with very special appreciation, the apprentice bricklayers of Local 3, whose pro-bono hands, hearts and skills adorned the Square with 6,000 bricks.

Other speakers were on hand to enrich the ceremony: historian Charles Swift, speaking on behalf of First Parish Church, which was one and the same entity as Dorchester at its founding in 1630; and elected officials, City Councilor Maureen Feeney and State Senator Jack Hart, loyal supporters of the community project. All echoed pride in a community that celebrates its history in public art.

Finally, artist Laura Baring Gould, after years of exhaustive research and extraordinary labor creating the Pear sculpture, spoke of her hopes for the significance of this work in the Dorchester community, and invited Mayor Menino to lead the people in the unveiling of the great “Dorchester Clapp Pear”!

“Dorchester History/Dorchester Voices”, October 16, 2010

More than three years after “The Pear” dedication, the community re-assembled on a chilly, blustery fall Saturday afternoon to celebrate the complementary phase of Edward Everett Square’s transformation. Thanks to continued support from Mayor Menino, a grant from the City’s Grass Roots Open Space program, and a generous donation from the Waste Management Corporation, the community committee had adorned the Square with landscaped shrubs and flowers, interpretive signage and ten smaller satellite sculptures titled “Dorchester Voices/Dorchester History” to create, along with the Pear, a historically-rich community landmark and gateway. 
Mayor Menino, called away to a lately arranged visit to the city by the President of the United States, designated staunch project ally, City Councilor Maureen Feeney to preside over the dedication on the City’s behalf. What people said at the ceremony captures the spirit of that day:

Gil Solomon, Chief Sachem, Massachuset Ponkapoag Tribal Council: “All of you are part of the order of life!  All altercations will have been forgiven!  Our ancestors joined together to create one stronger than the many, and we are here continuing that tradition!”

Maureen Feeney, Boston City Councilor: “These ten pieces of artwork will speak to who we were, who we are, and who we want to become!”

Marty Walsh, State Representative: “The press should be here today to see the good things going on in this neighborhood. … Those kids [who served their community and whose names are on the artwork] are from this neighborhood!”

Jack Hart, State Senator: “This is one of the most important places, not only in Boston, but in this country’s history!”

Edward Everett, Orator, Statesman, Governor, etc., etc, (Jim Cooke): “(This) worthy depiction of the aspirations, talent, genius and histories of the sons and daughters of old Dorchester – may it ever and always be as bright as this day!”

John McColgan, Chairman, Edward Everett Square Project Committee: “We vowed to transform the Square from an asphalt tundra of traffic bedlam … to a place beautified by not just art, but art manifest and symbolic of Dorchester and community history. This was our vision ... because as activists who fight for the betterment and power of our community, we need to be mindful of the relevance of our history and the power that community history brings!”

Laura Baring-Gould, Artist, Creator of “Dorchester History/Dorchester Voices”: “We come from the present, learning from the past, to leave these artworks here for those of the future. The work we have collectively created celebrates who we are, where we have come from, and where we might go. Our work is a gift for the citizens of Dorchester and Boston, those here today, and those who will come tomorrow.”