Around Boston: new light, old park

Two stories caught my eye in the Globe, one with proximity to my vocation and one to my avocation.

The first was regarding the undeveloped land to the south of our offices in Burlington. Pointedly subtitled “city can’t develop land in Burlington, Woburn,” the story details the ongoing dance between citizens of the suburbs who want to see the Mary Cummings Park maintained as parkland, and the City of Boston, which was deeded the land by Cummings on the condition that it stay a “public pleasure ground,” who apparently would prefer that nothing ever be done with it. If the city can’t develop it, that is. A word to the Friends of the Park: better keep a close eye on the docket. Boston’s actions here smell like a delaying tactic until they can get a judge to break the conditions of the deed and allow them to sell the property to developers.

Speaking of delays, the second article regards the removal of the blackout panels over the top windows in Symphony Hall. I remember looking up at the interior panels from the stage during a rehearsal this spring and wondering about them to my fellow tenors, none of whom agreed that they were really windows. And no wonder; there’s no living memory of them ever having been windows. The panels were put into place in the early 1940s, and their removal, I imagine, leaves the old hall emerging blinking into the sunlight like Hiroo Onoda. But the removal, as the article highlights, indicates the profoundly conservative attitude of the BSO regarding the hall’s acoustics. I wonder what the impact on the aesthetics will be?

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