Perhaps it was fitting that the dedication of Armenian Heritage Park on the Greenway be held on a day of pouring rain, representing the challenges and spirit of the people that persevered to get to this day.
The dedication of long-awaited park brought out hundreds of spectators, creating a sea of umbrellas on the former plot of “Big Dig” land located across from Christopher Columbus Park on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Cross Street, also known as Parcel 13. The park is adjacent to the North End, Wharf District and Faneuil Hall area.
The welcoming and support of the park by residents the North End / Waterfront was mentioned by several speakers at the ceremony. The Armenian Heritage Foundation funded and constructed the $6 million park, including funds for maintenance, at no cost to the taxpayer.
The Foundation celebrated their heritage at the dedication and emphasized the immigrant experience evident in the park’s features. The website for the Armenian Heritage Park identifies the symbolism:
The Labyrinth, a circular winding path paved in granite set in stone, celebrates life’s journey.
A single jet of water and the symbol of eternity mark its center, representing hope and rebirth.
The Abstract Sculpture, a split dodecahedron mounted above a reflecting pool, commemorates the immigrant experience. The Sculpture is dedicated to lives lost during the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 and all genocides that have followed.
Annually, the Sculpture will be reconfigured symbolic of the immigrant experience and all who left their countries of origin and came to our Massachusetts shores, establishing themselves in new and different ways.
An avid supporter of the park’s construction was Governor Deval Patrick who spoke at the dedication, along with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and U.S. Representative Ed Markey of Watertown where a large Armenian community resides. From the Armenian Heritage Foundation was President, James M. Kalustian, Archbishops Khajag Barsamian and Oshagan Choloyan of the Armenian Church of America among several reverend clergy. The Honorable Peter Koutoujian, High Sheriff of Middlesex County served as Master of Ceremonies at the dedication.
Below are more scenes from the dedication of the Armenian Heritage Park. Photos by Matt Conti, unless otherwise noted.