I love finding new public outdoor spaces, especially when they’re almost in my back yard. A few weeks ago I went out for a run and instead of taking my usual route, I took the Boston Harborwalk over to the (relatively) new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. This location in Charlestown opened up last April, actually right before the bombing events at the Boston Marathon. It was at this facility that many of those survivors were treated, and it was here that Mayor Menino spent time last year recovering from injury and illness last year.
The grounds of the hospital, designed by Copley Wolff Design Group, connect the space to the harbor walk, offer outdoor play space for families and the public, and includes a therapeutic walking trail. The walking trail features elements to help patients improve their strength, endurance, and ability to ambulate. Changes in walking surface are key, as are the transitions for one surface to another. Changes in elevation, whether a rolling ramp or a set of steps also helps patients who are re-learning how to walk. Throughout the trail, beautiful plantings (and even blueberry bushes!) make the journey through the winding space enjoyable. The design also artfully incorporates reclaimed materials (granite and wood), drought tolerant plants, and informative signage.
Below are some pictures of this great public/institutional space, well worth checking out!