Bay State Green
Bay State Green was designed and developed as an integral part of Bay State Commons, a new, state of the art mixed-use “lifestyle center” constructed on the site of the former 56-acre Bay State Abrasives industrial complex. The park, which acts as the entrance marker to the complex, directly adjacent to the downtown rotary, was designed in the tradition of a classic New England town common, creating an architectural identity that reflects the existing central village community.
The 2.5 acre public park is separated into three distinct areas, all of which are connected by a consistent vocabulary of hardscape materials. The northernmost area of the park contains a concave lawn area that is used for passive recreation during summer months, then is flooded to create a small community skating pond in the winter. The southernmost area of the park is developed as the “Great Lawn”. The lawn, surrounded by a double row of American Elms, is graded as an amphitheatre, facing toward the center of the park. This central paved area acts as the main gathering space for the park, and it includes an elevated band shell for festivals and special events. The brick pavers in this area are recycled from the former mill buildings that were demolished to make way for the park.
As with the rest of the Bay State Commons site, the park property was previously classified as a brownfield site by MA DEP, therefore pre-development remediation measures were necessary. Those measures included leaving all of the existing building foundations in place, and importing fill material to raise the grade of the entire site by over 3 feet. Furthermore, to the greatest extent practicable, the existing utility infrastructure was reused to minimize disturbance to the subsurface conditions. WDA’s services included overall master plan development, landscape architecture, civil engineering, re-zoning, and permitting for the entire site, including the park property.