Discussions for Renovation of Arsenal Park to Start Soon, See One Possible Addition

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With all the changes coming to the Arsenal Mall, the park next door will also see some changes. Town officials will soon begin discussing how to renovate Arsenal Mall, and the changes could include the relocation of a small piece of the historic Arsenal.

During a community meeting about the second phase of the Arsenal Yards project Watertown Senior Planner Gideon Schreiber said that discussions about the park will begin soon.

“On June 21 there will be a meeting with an internal (town) group and abutters to discuss the process,” Schreiber said.

Following that meeting, there will be public meetings to discuss changes to the park. One resident worried that the meetings would take place during the summer, when many people are away. Schreiber said that while he prefers to have an expedited process, the final decisions will not likely be made until the fall.

Right now the park has a field, tennis and basketball courts and a gazebo and grilling area. The Watertown Community Gardens group has planting beds set up on one of the courts.

One possibility is saving part of the historic Arsenal and moving it into the park. The small building was built into the new portion of the mall that links the two old buildings, Schreiber said.

The structure that housed the Dollar N’ Things store is part of the original Arsenal, Schreiber.

“You can see the roof when you go out the exit near the Dollar Store,” Schreiber said, referring to the green roof that juts into the front parking lot, near where the roadway dips to go under the bridge.

The Watertown Historical Commission has asked developers to save the structure. Schreiber said one option would be to move it into Arsenal Park and turn it into a covered outdoor structure. Right now the gazebo is the only outdoor structure in a town park, Schreiber said, but it is quite small.

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