UPDATE: Square footage for Lappin Park added—see below.
So how big is the Salem Jail greenspace?
The opening image in this post is from the original blueprint that Sue Cranney provided me of the bypass road project at St. Peter St. St. Peter St. is on the left. Howard St. is on the right. The Jail and cemetery are on the bottom of the image. You can clearly see the existing access road (to the old sally port) at bottom center.
The new access road that NBV is planning to build will cross the greenspace in the middle, exiting onto Bridge St. (An exit at St. Peter St. was considered but quickly rejected.)
I should note, very strongly, that this blueprint reflects the greenspace as MassHighway planned it. It is in no way an “official” plan for the space. I imagine NBV will be forthcoming with that very soon. I only hope I get an electronic copy, such as a PDF, next time around.
“Monopoly Park”, also, is not the official name although I’m going to do my best to make it so!
These are my estimated boundaries of the green space. I used the blueprint to get measurements. According to the scale 1 inch corresponds to 80 feet, and my pedometer confirms it, as walking from the corner at St. Peter to the corner of Veterans Riverway @ Bridge St measures about 250 feet; the blueprint says 240, but that is assuming a totally straight-line walk. It’s likely close enough.
For measurement purposes I had to split the space into two triangles, calculate the area of each and sum the areas together. I used the first calculator I found, CSG Area Calculator.
I calculated 35,476 sq. ft. for Monopoly Park.
Summarizing what I’ve found so far:
- Armory Park: 21,316 sq. ft.
- Gonyea Park: 23,452 sq. ft
- Lappin Park: 11,480 sq. ft.
- “Monopoly Park”: 35,476 sq. ft.
By comparison with the other
two three parks, “Monopoly Park” is no tiny space!
The likelihood of Armory Park being reclaimed for parking is nil. Gonyea Park could conceivably be reclaimed for parking by some developer, but this would deprive the whole neighborhood of their greenspace. As it is, it is a very small space to serve what is now a very dense area with the nearby Jefferson complex.
If I lived there and a developer wanted to make it a parking lot I would complain no less—and more loudly—than the neighbors!
One of the most successful greenspaces in downtown,
one I didn’t visit for this post, is Lappin Park, home of the famous Bewitched Statue. It is popular at all hours.
It’s half the size of Armory Park, making it the smallest park downtown. It was carved out of a vacant lot left when the building that was once there burned in the early 1970’s.
To my experience, that had been a vacant lot up until Lappin Park was built. There was never any (successful) consideration towards making it a parking lot though in many ways parking was an anxiety even then to Salem.
It was never a parking lot.
Do we want to make it into parking? I’m sure Samantha’s statue could be accommodated somehow. Still want to? We could probably squeeze 15 spaces in there. Why not?
As alienated as I am with the neighborhood groups, they and I both agree we need to keep all the green space we can have.
“Monopoly Park” is no little dinky greenspace that people will miss.