NSCDC acquired this very blighted and unsafe lot in 2014 and converted it to a beautiful, highly utilized pocket park. The space was for many years a dumping ground for solid waste, structurally unsound and a hazard to neighborhood kids who used it as an informal play space. NSCDC, collaborating with Mayor Kim Driscoll, convinced the absentee owners to sell it to NSCDC for the cost of their 10 years’ of back taxes. NSCDC then raised funds for it’s redesign and full renovation. The design process, led by Crowley-Cottrell Landscape Architecture, engaged Ward Street residents to identify priorities for how the space should look and function. Neighborhood feedback was unanimous; young kids on Ward Street have very little accessible open space, and they needed a safe, beautiful space to shoot hoops. Crowley Cottrell turned it into a beautiful half-court, surrounded by native landscaping and benches for friends and relatives to use and enjoy the park.
In 2018, NSCDC and Peabody Essex Museum partnered, and PEM commissioned an artist as part of their award-winning Playtime! exhibition to again work with users of the park to design a mural to cover the surface of the park. This was PEM’s first commission in the Point neighborhood, and it is a signature mural of NSCDC’s Punto Urban Art Museum. Renowned artist Pixel Pancho also completed a mural entitled “Garden Boy” in 2018 which adorns NSCDC’s adjacent affordable housing development and overlooks the park.