By Ling-Mei Wong
A community meeting for an art center at One Greenway took place at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School on Oct. 21 with about 60 attendees. The space will be maintained by Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) and Bunker Hill Community Center (BHCC). Attendees were asked for input to develop a community vision for the art center.
“We would like to turn this space into an art center for Chinatown,” said Giles Li, BCNC executive director. “Everyone in Boston will pass through Chinatown eventually … even if people don’t live here, it’s still their home.”
BHCC dean Nuri Chandler-Smith noted the college has several partner sites and hoped Chinatown could be a new site for student resources. “We want to create something you need and want, something that you can use,” she said.
One Greenway was a thriving neighborhood more than 50 years ago until the land was taken through eminent domain for a freeway on-ramp, Li said. As the Big Dig put I-93 underground, the land was given back to the community as Parcel 24 and developed into a 40 percent affordable residential complex by the Asian Community Development Corporation. One Greenway has a commercial storefront on Kneeland Street, which will be occupied by East Boston Savings Bank, and a community space on Hudson Street, which will be the art center.
The 5,050 square-foot space on the first floor is long and narrow. Attendees split into six groups and used art supplies to show what they wanted on a diagram. Suggestions included a theatre, library, kitchen, dance studio, study areas, computer lab, classrooms, displays for local art and a space for the Chinatown Atlas, a infographic of Chinatown’s development since the 1800s.
Architect and professor Theresa Huang said, “We can’t put every single idea into the space, but we want to see as many of the changes as possible.”
Another community meeting on the art center will take place in winter. Fundraising will take place to pay for renovations and rent, Li said.
This post is also available in: Chinese