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Mayor Walsh announces launch of RethinkCityHall.org, inviting the public to help reimagine the future of city hall and the plaza

November 3, 2015

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the launch of RethinkCityHall.org, a website designed to encourage civic participation in the City Hall campus plan study, a one-year comprehensive planning process that will serve as a roadmap for the operation and design improvements to City Hall and the plaza.

This announcement is one of three interrelated efforts that the City is pursuing to reinvigorate and bring new life to both City Hall and City Hall Plaza.   As part of the Campus Plan Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that was released on June 8, 2015, the City has selected Utile, a local architecture and planning firm, to partner with the city to lead the campus plan study.  Utile is teamed with Grimshaw Architects and Reed Hilderbrand for the design phases of the effort.

"I am excited to have Utile on board as we work to identify ways to activate our civic spaces," said Mayor Walsh. "As we progress in the planning process, it is important to take inventory of all of our assets to be able to identify opportunities for improvement. This study will help us develop a thoughtful and forward-thinking plan to reimagine City Hall and the plaza as thriving, healthy and innovative civic spaces."

"We are energized by Mayor Walsh's challenge and are excited to work with the various constituencies to develop an innovative plan," said Tim Love, a principal at Utile. "Thinking about the functional, programmatic and experiential aspects of both the building and plaza provides the opportunity to fundamentally rethink City Hall."

Both the City and Utile are committed to an open and interactive process that engages members of the public, community groups, professional organizations, and as part of that effort the website will include information about stakeholder meetings and public forums. Additionally, the website will be updated on an ongoing basis with the research, analysis, concepts and design scenarios generated by the consultant team.

Under the direction of the Mayor's Chief of Operations, the Property and Construction Management Department will lead and coordinate each process and all proposed activities through the appropriate city departments. 

The process for the campus plan study is organized into three phrases:

  1. Phase One will establish the business plan for the potential realignment of City-owned property, the reorganization of administrative departments and financing approaches. This phase is scheduled from mid-October 2015 through mid-January 2016.
  2. Phase Two will convert the business plan into several alternative design scenarios, resulting in the selection of a preferred scheme. This phase is scheduled from mid-January 2016 through mid-June 2016.
  3. Phase Three will develop the preferred approach, resulting in compelling visual material, a project budget and an implementation plan. This phase is scheduled from mid-June 2016 through mid-September 2016.

REFERENCES

Campus Plan RFQ: The City has selected the design firm Utile to develop a master plan for City Hall, City Hall Plaza and 26 Court St. The result of this plan will be a vision and a roadmap for the operation and design improvements to those facilities.

Plaza Partner RFP: While the campus plan is being developed, the City, through an RFP, is seeking a partner to improve City Hall Plaza over the next three years. The awardee of this RFP will not receive any benefit in a future RFP that may arise from the Campus Plan study.  

Civic/Cultural Partner RFP: The City is interested in partnering with an entity to operate a civic/cultural entity in City Hall whose presence could complement the cultural and historic institutions in the area and enhance the current building. This partner will be the subject of a future RFP.