BOSTON, Mass.—The Armenian Heritage Park on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is slated to be completed by the fall of 2010, reported Armenian Heritage Foundation president James M. Kalustian at a recent Board meeting.
“We are making extraordinary progress,” he said. “As of July 2009, 50 percent of the construction and engineering documents have been completed by the design team. The plans are presently being reviewed by the various state and city agencies.”
The Armenian Heritage Foundation’s Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from the 37 parishes and organizations within the Armenian American community in Massachusetts. Serving as honorary chairs are Massachusetts State Representative Peter Koutoujian and Massachusetts State Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian.
A gift to the City of Boston and recognized as one of the better designed parks, the Armenian Heritage Park is consistent with one of the themes of the Greenway: to acknowledge the history of Boston as a port of entry for immigrants worldwide, for those who have migrated to our shores and contributed to the richness of American life and culture.
The park, situated on four-tenths of an acre on parcel 13 of the Greenway, will serve as a link between the Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Christopher Columbus Park. It has received overwhelming support from neighboring community groups in Boston’s North End and Wharf District, as well as many of Boston’s civic, community, and political leaders.
The park includes lawns, benches, fountains, shade trees, as well as two key features, a labyrinth and sculpture, both to engage and delight children and adults. The labyrinth, a circular winding path in grass and inlaid stone with a single jet of water at its center, is symbolic of life’s journey and in celebration of achievements in art, science, commerce, and service. The sculpture, a 12-sided abstract geometric sculpture—a split rhombic dodecahedron—rests on a 16-foot diameter reflecting pool to commemorate the lives lost in the Armenian Genocide and in all genocides that have followed, and to celebrate those who left their country of origin and reconfigured their lives in the United States. The waters of the reflecting pool wash over its sides commemorating the lives lost and re-emerges as the single jet of water at the labyrinth’s center, representing hope and rebirth. The sculpture will be reconfigured every year with endlessly changing views.
“The ancient pattern of the labyrinth has crossed time, cultures, and religions throughout history, and has become a universal metaphor of peace, harmony, contemplation, and healing,” said Rev. Kathleen Musser of the Labyrinth Guild of New England. “[It is] an imaginative and creative device for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to engage one another… The labyrinth invites all expressions of faith and culture and ethnicity to walk the path of diverse community together. It quite literally circumscribes common ground for all to walk! The lessons are deep, but very obvious with every step we take: We are all on this path together. We may not walk at the same pace, and often we may feel like we are going in different directions, sometimes in step with each other, sometimes alone. But ultimately all of us are on the same path, and that path offers us all opportunities for reconciliation, wholeness, and hope.”
An endowed lecture on human rights, in collaboration with the Bostonian Society, will be held annually at Faneuil Hall and will feature internationally recognized scholars and leaders. Endowed funds are also being established to support the care and maintenance of the park in perpetuity as well as the annual reconfiguration of the sculpture.
For more information, visit www.ArmenianHeritagePark.net.