Before there was a park, the Friends of City Square Park was formed as a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization with the goal of creating a green space for Charlestown. The dream was realized at the 1996 ground-breaking. City Square Park was established in 1996 at the exact site where the beginnings of Charlestown took root in 1629. Over the past three centuries the landscape of City Square and Charlestown at large have gone through dramatic changes. Today, the park acts as a testimony to Charlestown's maturation, as a beacon for visitors to the city, and as a symbol of civic pride for the city. The park includes more than 70 separate species of trees, shrubs, perennial flowers, ground coverings and grasses. The site's sophisticated design elements, gas lights, meandering paths and grassy areas combine to interpret the park's historic past in a modern fashion. As it has since Charlestown's conception, City Square Park proudly serves as "The Gateway To Boston".

The Friends of City Square Mission Statement

To ensure the proper maintenance, preservation, beautification, programming, and care of City Square Park and its vicinity, and to encourage an awareness of its history.

Become a Member of The Friends of City Square Park

Do you want to keep the park beautiful? Join the Friends today and be part of an organization that works to keep this green space maintained. The Friends of City Square Park was formed in 1994 under the direction of Governor Ken Stone of Warren Avenue. Since it's conception the Friends have accumulated over 250 members. The Board of Assistants, which governs the Friends, is composed of 20 members. The Board, along with running monthly meetings, is responsible for any and all decisions pertaining to the park. Throughout the year The Friends do a variety of events that raise funds for the park and are always looking for more help. Some of the events include the Concerts in The Park, the Christmas Tree Lighting (coming up on December 8th!), spring and fall clean ups, and our Christmas parties. If you prefer to send a check please click HERE.
Click Here to Find Out More Information About the Friends.
$10 Senior Membership
$20 Single Membership
$30 Family Membership
$50 Supporter Membership
$100 Patron Membership
$250 Benefactor Membership
$500 Corporate Membership
Click Here For A Donation Receipt

Monday, November 17, 2008

Submit Your Picture of City Square Park!

Email grace at with your pic of the park!

A Beautiful Wedding In City Square Park

Autumn In City Square Park

The Development Of Current City Square Park

During the 1970s and 1980s, the Massachusetts Highway Department undertook the planning and construction in Charlestown of the Central Artery North Area Project. When neighborhood advocacy at public meetings and support from elected officials resulted in the tunneling of the highway below City Square, the community considered the dismantling of the highway a singular opportunity to create attractive open space.

In 1987 The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management appointed a staff person to assist the community in beginning the process to create a park out of the BRA's Parcel 5. In 1988, the City Square Park Committee was established and in late 1989, funds for the planning, design, and construction of the park were secured largely thanks for State Representative Voke. On July 9, 1992, City Square Park was designated a Boston Landmark site. The City Square tunnels were completed in 1992, and surface restoration followed in 1993.

The Halvorson Company, Inc. was hired to carry out the preliminary and final park design for City Square. Responding to input from Charlestown residents, the Halvorson team worked in association with David Phillps to satisfy the community's concerns by incorporating into the design sculptural pieces and park ornamentations with associations to Charlestown's rich history.

On April 11, 1994 , the City Square Park Committee became the Friends of City Square Park, with a governing board of 20 assistants, and with Ken Stone serving as governor. Groundbreaking took place on the frosty morning of April 5, 1995.

Park Landmarks

Outline of the Great House Foundation

Located in the center of the park. The Great House was built in City Square for Governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was the seat of government of the first self governing colony in America and was the stage for future battles that would result in the hard won Liberty, independence and representative government that is ours today. The building stood from 1628 – 1775.

The Park Gateways

The park’s gateway posts display include medallions that honor the extraordinary accomplishments of famous men and women who lived in Charlestown.

Justice Statue

Located in front of Gate 2. Marks the start of the judiciary system in this state. Near here, on August 23, 1630, Governor John Winthrop and members of the Massachusetts Bay Company organized the Court of Assistants, forerunner of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Paul Revere Memorial Plaque

Located on the Chelsea Street side of the Park. Placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution, a plaque and adjacent steps, once part of the Charlestown Bridge, commemorate Paul Revere’s midnight ride. The ride began in City Square using a horse borrowed from Deacon John Larkin.

Word War II Memorial

Located just beyond Gate 4. This simple obelisk, repeating the form of the Bunker Hill Monument, honors the men and women of Charlestown who served our nation in the defense of freedom in World War II.

City Square Park Gateways and Medallions

The Medallions at each Gateway honor distinguished figures in Charlestown History. There are 4 Gates, each with several associated names.

Edward Everett (1794-1865) Orator and statesman, he held numerous offices including U.S. Congressman and Senator, Governor of Massachusetts, Ambassador to Britain, Secretary of State, and President of Harvard College. The Federal-style Everett House on Harvard Street was his home while Governor.
Nathaniel Gorham (1738-1796) Merchant and statesman, he served in the Massachusetts General Court and Senate. Later, a President of the Continental Congress and a member of the Federal Constitutional Convention, he was a signer of the U.S. Constitution. Born in Charlestown and a life-long resident, his home faced City Square Park.


Elizabeth Foster Goose (1665-1757) The original American "Mother Goose:, her fairy tales and nursery rhymes were gathered into a book and published by her son-in-law, a printer, 1719. She was born in Charlestown.
John Boyle O'Reilly (1844-1890) Irish patriot, poet, writer and editor of The Pilot, the major Irish newspaper in America, his writings championed the cause of home rule for Ireland. He lived on Winthrop Street.

Loammi Baldwin (1780-1838) Considered the Father of Civil Engineering in America, he designed the Union Canal in Pennsylvania, the Charlestown Navy yard's granite dry-dock (still in use), the proportions of the Bunker Hill Monument, and numerous other works. He has offices in Charlestown and a mansion near Main and School Streets.
Samuel F. B. Morse (1791-1872) Artist and inventor, he enjoyed modest success as a painter, but is best known as inventor of the telegraph and Morse code. He was born in the Edes House on Main Street.

Dr. Jebidiah Morse (1761-1826) Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Charlestown for 30 years, he is considered the Father of American Geography due to his authorship of the first major texts on geography published in America. The texts were widely used in schools. The Morse residence was on Main Street.
William Carleton (17797-1876) Benefactor of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, he was a prosperous inventor and manufacture of lighting fixtures. He lived, for many years, in the Everett House on Harvard Street and, later, on Monument Square in a house he designed.
John Harvard (1607-1638) Born in England and educated in theology at Cambridge, he migrated to America in 1637 and became teaching elder of the Charlestown church. His deathbed bequest of one-half his estate and his extensive library led to the naming of Harvard College after its benefactor. Harvard lived in a house he built on Town Hill.
Charles Tufts (1781-1876) He helped found Tufts College in Medford, Massachusetts, through gifts of land and services on the college’s board of trustees for its first 20 years. A prosperous farmer and owner of a brick making factory he was a devoted member of the Universalist Society Church of Charlestown.