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Planning the Fairmount Corridor - Dudley Terrace

Posted: June 7, 2012     Nancy J Conrad Click here to Add Comment
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About  Dudley Terrace
The Park
Geraldo Serrano Plaque

Project for Public Spaces - Dudley TerraceDudley Terrace is  barely a one -block long street with homes set towards the back of  commercial buildings.  In order to travel from Yanet Restaurant on the right to the section of stores starting with (what is now) Jackson Market, you have to cross over Dudley Terrace.

Question:  What is Dudley Terrace?  Is it a street, a parking lot, a park?  These were some of the questions that came up during the walk-through on the Project for Public Places exercise associated with the Fairmount Corridor.

Observation:  If visitors could not figure out what the public space was, what does that tell us about its overall social asset message?

Question:  What steps can we take to make this place more inviting, more useful and more functional as a connection so that it encourages walkability?

Two issues associated with Dudley Terrace follow: 
  • What used to be a seating area (now deconstructed)
  • A dedication plaque that nobody knows exists.
Between Yanet Restaurant and Jackson Market is a public space that consists of a street - Dudley Terrace, and what used to be a small seating area against the Yanet Restaurant outside wall.  The story goes like this:  Residents from the building in which Jackson Market is located complained and the benches were authorized removed.  Reportedly, alcoholics were drinking and causing disturbances.  Rather than work on the issue of who used the benches, the decision was made to remove the benches.

Obviously this has resulted in fewer problems since no one is sitting on the ground which is what is now left.

From a community perspective, which is friendlier?  A small sitting area or an empty space?  What can be done to improve the open area under the beautiful trees at Dudley Terrace to be welcoming, inviting, hospitable, functional and that promotes a sense of community?

Project for Public Spaces - Dudley Terrace
Before the benches were removed.

Project for Public Spaces - Dudley Terrace
Why the triangles in the ground?
Project for Public Spaces - Dudley Terrace
This appears to be a park but  ... Something is missing here.

On February 21, 2010, Geraldo Serrano who was acting as store guard for Hermanos Unidos (now Jackson's Market) was murdered in the store.  Hermanos Unidos never reopened and on August 21, 2010, exactly six months later, Dorchester Bay held a dedication ceremony in his honor.  Speeches by many organizations including Mayor Menino and the police as well as friends and neighbors marked a moving and appropriate event for a man who was so dearly loved.

Dorchester Bay had a plaque made and inserted into the brick wall of the building where he died.  Geraldo Serrano Dedication Celebration

Project for Public Spaces - Dudley Terrace
Before the murder of Geraldo Serrano.
Project for Public Spaces - Dudley Terrace
The wall with the plaque inserted.
Project for Public Spaces - Dudley Terrace
 The plaque - does anybody notice?  Does anybody care?

Today, no one notices the plaque.  Passersby can't see it - too small, too offset from the sidewalk and too high.  As nice and fitting as the ceremony and original thoughts were, the efforts now go unnoticed as does the fact that Geraldo Serrano was murdered.

If we were to ask members of the community:  How can we make this plaque and what it means stand out and let the world know that we REALLY REALLY CARE?  What would they say? If something were to call our attention to the plaque, would it make a difference to our sense of community?

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