April 29, 2003


Market Landing Park improved


Staff writer

NEWBURYPORT -- Market Landing Park on the central waterfront is undergoing a renovation.

By summer, visitors to the park will see the size of the concrete and stone stage doubled and the crisscross stone dust walkways leading across the Market Landing lawn to the boardwalk embayment replaced with a different style of walkway.

The new pathway will arch through the center of the park and connect with the two brick paths that lead from Merrimac Street, on either side of the Firehouse Center for the Arts, to the boardwalk. The new path will be wide enough to hold a wheelchair and bricked to rise flush with the grass. An area in the center of the path, directly in front of the stage, will also widen to allow for comfortable wheelchair seating during concerts, said Bob Uhlig, chairman of the Parks Commission.

Uhlig works for Halvorson Design Partnership, the Boston architectural landscape design firm that originally designed Market Landing Park. He designed the new work at the request of Newburyport Waterfront Trust -- the city-based organization that owns the park.

The new park improvements have been organized by the Newburyport Waterfront Trust over the past two years, according to a press release written by the group's co-chairman Tom Lochhaas.

The Waterfront Trust has received several grants to fund the new work, said Lochhaas in the press release. The Institution for Savings and the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank each donated a little over $20,000 to pay for the expanded stage, and the Mary Alice Arakelian foundation funded the $45,000 walkway.

Over the next month, construction will be performed by Boston Towing and Transportation -- the same contractor that rebuilt the boardwalk and is finishing up work on the new ways to the water. The brick ways to the water will run from Merrimac and Water Streets to meet up with the east and west ends of the boardwalk.

Lochhaas said in the press release that work should be complete by the beginning of summer. He wrote that the new work will provide "benefits for both the general public and the disabled visitors to the waterfront."

(This article replicated online with permission of the Newburyport Daily News, an Eagle Tribune Newspaper.)
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