The Promenade will include new, intimate spaces for seating, performances, readings and story-telling. Spaces designed to encourage interaction and discovery.
Several distinct outdoor “rooms” are planned as integral components of the 1,400 linear foot promenade. These areas include:
Mayflower Terrace: This is the first space encountered when walking North from Pilgrim Memorial Park. Over 1,200 SF in size, the terrace faces north-east with a wide arcing granite capstone topped with a detailed railing. The terrace is more like a harbor-front overlook, with the walking surface cantilevering beyond the face of the new seawall by over four feet. The terrace is the confluence of three walkways, connecting two lower walks to the upper walk. This location is also envisioned to be a prime setting to expand the use of salvaged granite block and architectural pieces, with corresponding exhibits and narratives identifying and explaining the history of the pieces.
Brewster Overlook: This site features several interconnected components. Designed to celebrate the Brewster Street corridor that links Main Street to the waterfront, the site is unique within the promenade as it includes a 500 SF shade pavilion with seating and interpretive exhibits; a 2,000 SF boardwalk overlook that projects into the harbor in a wedge shape, affording new vantage points and views to the north and south; and a new stairway from the promenade to the intertidal zone below, which at low tide is walkable as a small beach area.
Howland Street: This site is tied to Plymouth’s more recent past. This location not only represents a mid-point in the longest segment of the Promenade, but it also is the ideal location to interpret and discuss the wire and rope manufacturing history of the Town. A rich part of the Town’s maritime history, this area links the waterfront west to the downtown area, as one of the east-west crosswalks lands here. It is also envisioned to be another location for the installation of salvaged granite pieces.
Mabetts Park: The roadway portion of the project requires extensive drainage work to both improve water quality and reduce and attenuate stormwater runoff, and positioning the large drainage structures requires space that can only be found within the Park. The benefit of reworking the park is the opportunity to make a space that is more accommodating to different types of activities and that also showcases several Maritime Memorials. The project proposes a 500 SF centrally-located shade pavilion which is on axis with Chilton Street, as well as a proposed 2,600 SF Ceremonial Dock and boardwalk that projects into the harbor. The location and positioning of the pavilion is again with broader purpose: to promote a direct link up the hill between the waterfront and Main Street, but perhaps most significantly to reinforce the link to Pilgrim Hall Museum. The pavilion is envisioned as a 24/7 outdoor museum describing Plymouth’s past and featuring information, exhibits, and specially interpreted outdoor artifacts directly connected to Pilgrim Hall. The ‘Ceremonial Dock’ and boardwalk east of the pavilion sits slightly down-slope from the larger park area, and creates a natural stage for impromptu or small performances with the harbor as the backdrop. Additional built-in seating and shade tree and flowering plantings are planned for the park as well. Other special work in the park includes the relocation of several maritime memorials, most notable perhaps is the memorial to lost mariners, “to those that chose the sea”. The re-set memorials will include expanded seating, detailed paving surfaces, lighting, and will all be framed by new plantings and low seat walls.
Boardwalk Segments: The existing seawalls north of Mabbetts Park pinch the sidewalks against the roadway which necessitates single-file walking throughout this section of the street. New boardwalks are proposed to allow people to stroll more comfortably in groups, away from traffic, and afford views of the harbor. With an open railing system and wide decks that transition between various elevations, the boardwalks are a new and interesting part of the Promenade. Part of the work in this area includes the re-establishment of the high saltmarsh through the planting of smooth cordgrass just below the boardwalk structure.
Pilgrim Portal: Proposed in the central space between the west and east boardwalk is a wide, 700 SF, prow-shaped boardwalk projecting over the salt marsh plantings. Framed by the existing seawall and large flagpoles, the Portal provides different frames in which to view the waterfront. Many cars and tourists on foot enter town through the nearby roundabout or the Visitors’ Center on the adjacent crosswalk, and enter into the promenade via this portal. This gateway could act as an interpretive portal, with exhibits that discuss the historic appearance of the shoreline as reintroduced through the new saltmarsh plantings, and is planned to host exhibits laying out the rich history of this particular area of town.
These improvements and spaces are designed in concert to form an interesting series of visible destinations and to expand the visitors’ experience by creating walkable attractions north of Pilgrim Memorial Park.