In April 2017, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that A+J Art+Design was selected to create a public artwork for North Square in Boston’s North End neighborhood following an open call for proposals. North Square is one of the oldest continuously occupied neighborhoods in Boston and the Square and surrounding area hold some of the most significant historic and cultural sites in the country, including Paul Revere House, Mariners House, Sacred Heart Church, numerous other historic buildings and The Freedom Trail.
The public art project is part of Boston’s new Percent for Art program and is implemented in conjunction with an overall $2.5 million reconstruction process entailing improvements to pedestrian safety and accessibility, an enhanced public space, and the revitalization of the Square’s cultural value. A+J join the project team of the Boston Public Works Department (PWD), BETA Group, Inc., and the Boston Art Commission of the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. The project broke ground on October 11, 2017 and is estimated to be completed in late 2018.
Find out more about the proposed artwork for North Square.
STORIES FROM THE VAULT
Your North End story is welcome!
Years ago my mother showed me this photo which was used as a display item in a photographer’s shop on Hanover Street in the North End in 1934. At that time she was living at 3 Prince Street in the North End of Boston.
My mother immigrated at the age of 7 to the North End in 1925 and joined her parents and sister at 284 Hanover Street. Her birth place was Licodia Eubea, Sicily. She left behind grandparents, uncles, and aunts who decided not to immigrate to America. However, her father Sebastiano, his brother Pasquale, and his sister Alfonsina were the first to leave Sicily in the early 1900’s to find work and opportunity in America. They first came to Boston’s North End. All three siblings married and had children and today 4 generations later their families live and prosper in America.
My great uncle established and became the first editor of the all Italian daily newspaper La Notizia (The News) in the North End.
The newspaper’s office was located at 30-34 Battery Street in the North End. This paper was one of 2 all Italian daily papers that were printed in the North End that was instrumental in serving the continual growing Italian immigration population of the North End.
MEET THE PROJECT TEAM
A+J Art+Design is a multidisciplinary collaboration between artists Ann Hirsch and Jeremy Angier who believe that public art can provoke and entice while inspiring civic engagement.
Boston Art Commission
The Boston Art Commission (BAC) is an independent board vested with the sole authority for the accessioning, commissioning, safety, and maintenance of the art collection owned by the City of Boston.
Boston Public Works with BETA Group, Inc.
The Boston Public Works Department (BPWD) will be making site improvements to North Square in collaboration with Design Consultants BETA Group, Inc.
Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services
Plans are underway for opening discussions about progress and soliciting feedback and other forms of involvement in the project. If you live in the North End and would like to join the Advisory panel, please follow the link to sign up.
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We thank the Selection Committee for the North Square Public Art Project for choosing A+J Art+Design as the Project’s Artists and we thank Mayor Marty Walsh for his support.
We would also like to thank Karin Goodfellow, Julie Burros, Christian Guerra, Joe Fleury, Maria Lanza, Drew Epstein, Sammy Nabulsi, Kara Elliott-Ortega, Randy Collins and the rest of our project team for their partnership and support.
And we are also very grateful to the many community members who have already extended a hand to help us in this effort, to participate in the project and to welcome us to the community. In particular, we thank Jim Pasto, Nina Zannieri, Ben Edwards, Richard and Ben Molinari, Victor Brogna, Thomas Damigella, Matt Conti, Phil Orlandella, Suzanne Taylor, Karen McLaughlin, Traci Griffith Walker, John Pregmon and the North End Waterfront Neighborhood Council, Mary McGee and the North End Waterfront Residents Association, the Project’s Advisory Panel and future involved community members for your participation. We look forward to continuing the conversations and to working together.