Franklin Street Park

Franklin Street Park

Franklin Street Park is a house-lot sized park located in the Riverside neighborhood.  In 2003 the Cambridge Community Development Department renovated the park with the goal of  transforming what had been an unused and uninviting area paved with concrete into a small urban oasis in a densely populated neighborhood.

Franklin Park received an "Editor's Choice" award from the magazine "Landscape Architecture", the national publication of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The magazine included a detailed write up in the July 2004 edition, with a series of park photos. See the first page of this article at: http://www.asla.org/lamag/lam04/july/EditorsChoice.html.


The final design for the park was developed based on feedback received at meetings held between December 2001 and July 2002, as well as telephone and written correspondences from local residents. This design reflects an attempt to achieve the following design goals expressed by members of the community.

  • To develop a small urban oasis that is attractive, visually interesting, and has unique design features;
  • To maintain the existing passive character of the park while providing opportunities for more active use, including some play opportunities for children.
  • It was felt that this park should not become a playground. The nearby King School playground is currently undergoing a major renovation and will provide a large amount of playground structures for all ages;
  • To improve safety and encourage positive activities and behavior. Improvements to lighting, tree pruning, park regulatory signs, and the installation of an emergency call box all contribute to this goal;
  • To introduce more natural and informal materials such as rocks and low ground cover plantings. Increased park maintenance and an automatic irrigation system are called for in the plan for upkeep of plantings;
  • To make all park furniture (benches, tables, drinking fountain, etc.) and all areas of the park wheelchair accessible.

  • Franklin Street Park
  • Franklin Street Park
  • Franklin Street Park
  • Franklin Street Park

For more information please contact Stuart Dash, Director of Community Planning, at 617/349-4640 or email at sdash@cambridgema.gov.