Magazine Beach–A Place Apart, Opens Monday at Cambridge Arts

31 Oct
The 1818 powder magazine with its new roof commanding attention at Magazine Beach, 2014. Photograph by and courtesy of Richard Hackel.

The 1818 powder magazine with its new roof commanding attention at Magazine Beach, 2014. Photograph by and courtesy of Richard Hackel.

Exhibition Dates: November 3, 2014 – February 27, 2015

Opening Reception: Monday, November 17, 2014, from 6-8pm

In 2015, landscape designs for Magazine Beach – Cambridge’s 2nd largest park – will be updated and its future cast. Magazine Beach – A Place Apart looks closely at the history of these 15 acres along the Charles River from a wooded island on a tidal estuary to its current form. It examines the forces that have defined it uses – for gunpowder storage, a river bathing beach, a boathouse for rowers, a storm water sewage treatment plant, and as a favorite swimming, picnicking and recreation destination.

Magazine Beach–A Place Apart was developed by the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association (CNA) in collaboration with the Cambridge Arts Council, drawing on the resources of the Cambridge Historical Commission.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) owns and manages the Magazine Beach Park for the public.   In 2015, DCR will reopen the public process to update existing landscape plans for the park’s western portion—from the old powder magazine to the Riverside Boat Club. This follows renovation of the eastern portion in 2009. Since 2010, the CNA has worked with Cambridge and the DCR to improve the park—and at last, it’s happening. This past summer, DCR rebuilt the slate roof of the 1818 powder magazine, the park’s focal point. In September DCR committed funds, with a Cambridge match, to complete park plans.

Magazine Beach – A Place Apart offers a meditation on the past, present, and future of this dynamically changing place. We invite you to contribute to the conversation. What does Magazine Beach mean to you and what do you hope for its future?

Gallery 344 is located at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Cambridge, MA. It is free and open to the public on Monday, 8:30am-8pm; Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30am-5pm; Friday, 8:30-12noon. Questions? Contact Cathie Zusy, Chair, Magazine Beach Committee, Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association, Inc. at 617-868-0489 or

DCR Proposes a Spray Deck for Magazine Beach

28 Oct
The sort of water feature that DCR is proposing to install at Magazine Beach

The sort of water feature that DCR is proposing to install at Magazine Beach

Excellent meeting last night about DCR’s proposed spray deck for Magazine Beach.

Major points:

  1. DCR is eager to install a spray deck with ground-level features—just spray heads, no big plastic mushrooms!—at Magazine Beach in 2015. Thank you, DCR! (Note: The #1 priority for park improvements for park users is a water feature for children.)
  2. But we’ve got to determine the best location for it. There was a lot of discussion about where the best location might be.

WADING POOL LOCATION: DCR proposed putting it where the wading pool is now, but there was a lot of community pushback because it is surrounded by trees and very shady. The wading pool was always cold and dirty (with leaves)—not a place kids wanted to be. See below.

IMG_0562TOWARDS THE FIELDS: Cambridgeport neighbor and architect Max Moore suggested putting it next to the playing fields as a bridge between the playing fields and the old growth grove of trees where people picnic. Remember: where there is a water feature, there will also, one day be more of a play area for kids. Max proposes that that would be on the mound beside the playing fields.

ON THE SWIMMING POOL DECK—NIXED. While this would make sense, clustering water features, pool regulations would require that it only be accessible by the main entrance of the pool during pool hours. Not a good solution because on hot summer days the pool is often at capacity and there are long lines to get in. If we add the spray deck to the pool deck, even fewer people will have access.


JUST TO THE EAST OF THE POOL: DCR will explore this option. Concerns: People often picnic there and it might be too shady.


  1. DCR will explore the cost and feasibility of installing the water feature at the wading pool site, closer to the fields and beside the pool. They will report back at a public meeting in December or January when we return to thinking about the overall site plan (updating Phase II landscape plans). Clearly, we need to have a vision for the whole park before DCR invests $300k+ into the spray pool. We need to determine its proper place before proceeding with construction.

DCR’s Deputy Chief Engineer Raul Silva said that this delay would postpone the completion of the project until the fall of 2015, but that we’d be more likely to end up with something that everyone’s happy about. And that is the idea.

Many thanks to DCR for its commitment to making improvements at Magazine Beach and to the community stakeholders that attended last night and shared their good ideas.

To see the PowerPoint proposal that DCR presented last night, see:


2014 Head of the Charles–the Magazine Beach Perspective

21 Oct

Lots of wins from Riverside Boat Club this past weekend:


Men’s Grandmaster 4+ - Reeves Nelson, John Saxelby, Andy O’Brien, John Yasaitis, Ernest Cook

This crew carved 20 seconds off the record for this event.

Men’s Senior Master Single – Jim McGaffigan

Men’s Master Single – Mike Farry

Men’s Youth 2x – Jordi Cabanas, Aviv Preminger


Women’s Master Single – Alex Bailey


Women’s Club 8+ – Eliza van Lennep, Beatrice Sims, Juliet Hollingsworth, Andrea Pauli, Lisa Russell, Senta Knuth, Justine Seraganian, Angelique Hrycko, Emma Kaufman

Women’s Master Single – Liane Keister

Women’s Lightweight Single - Lauren Ayers

Way to go, Riverside! Thanks to Dick Garver and Amanda Milad for the updates. To relive the event from Magazine Beach, watch this video by Werner Grundl of Videosphere. It really captures the excitement of the event and the athletic prowess of the competitors–many from our own Riverside.

Art at Magazine Beach–this week. Check it out!

5 Oct

Today, artists and designers participating in the 2014 CommonBoston/CommonBuild, debuted artwork they designed and built in 72 hours at Magazine Beach Park. The installations reflect this year’s theme: The Places Inbetween and the rich history of the site.

Vote for your favorite artwork by Thursday at 9pm at: Be sure to stop by the park to see the artwork firsthand. This is the first event of Common Boston’s Fallfest, Oct. 9-12.

Many thanks to CommonBoston/CommonBuild for bringing this event to our neighborhood, to the artists who participated, and to DCR, the Cambridge Arts Council, the CNA, the BSA and others, for helping to make this happen!

For a video about this competition, watch this video featuring the Charles River Conservancy’s Renata von Tscharner and Cambridgeport neighbor, public artist Ross Miller.

Magazine Beach is Location for a 72-Hour Design/Build NOW!

2 Oct

It’s not too late to join in! See link to register below. Look for art installations in the park starting on Sunday at noon.

Thursday night Common Boston/Common Build revealed the location of their 6th annual design/build competition: Magazine Beach Park! This year’s theme is “The Places In Between.” Teams are invited to explore the intersection of two vibrant communities, Allston-Brighton and Kendall/MIT, to uncover what such places mean to the community, both individually and collectively.

Teams + Participants:  Register here individually or as a group ASAP; buy one “ticket” per head. You’ll receive an email requesting your team name and team members. Download the form below. Note that this competition is open to all regardless of background, and teams can be of any size. We also encourage “free agents” to sign up and join a team at the kick-off event. Questions? Go to

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 9.32.03 PM

Key Dates:

·        Kick-off: Thursday, October 2nd – The 72-hour Common Build count-down will begin! (You can still join!)

·        Tools Down: Sunday, October 5th at noon

·        Tour with Judges: Sunday, October 5th from 1–4pm, Spectators welcome! RSVP separately.

·        Public display onsite: Sunday October 5th through Sunday October 12th

·        Awards Ceremony: Friday, October 10th at the BSA, 6pm-8pm, Spectators welcome! RSVP separately.

·        De-Installation: Sunday, October 12th, 11am-4pm

Forms: Download and print Team Registration, FAQ and Waiver here!! Click Here to sign up via EventBright

View this project on coUrbanize, where you can follow CBCB14 from start to finish, comment in the community forum, and even vote for favorite projects too. Hope to see you there!

PRIZES:  Over $1000 will be awarded to teams selected by our jurors and by the public via an online vote.

City Council Approves CPA Comm. Recommendations! Our Park Will Have an Updated Landscape Plan!

16 Sep

The City Council approved the CPA Committee’s recommendations to allocate $56.5k to Magazine Beach landscape plans last night. So we’ve got a match for the DCR dollars and we’ll have an updated and completed landscape plan for the park by 2015. Thanks to all of you for your support for this project. It’s happening! We are on our way to a much nicer Magazine Beach Park! Imagine yourself there, by the river…

Also: Check out the new roof for the Powder Magazine–completed this week.

Riverside Rowers Place at World Rowing Championships

14 Sep
At 2014 World Championships: a lightweight men's quadruple sculls that trained at Riverside

At the World Championships: the USA’s lightweight men’s quadruple sculls that trained at Riverside

Just a few weeks ago at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, six Riverside Boat Club athletes competed on the US National Rowing Team. The lightweight men’s and women’s quads both finished first in the B-final, coming in 7th place overall. The women’s eight won the gold medal—their ninth consecutive world title!

The lightweight men’s quadruple sculls trained at Riverside all summer under the guidance of coach Margot Shumway. The crew consisted of: Andrew Neils, Peter Schmidt, Jake Georgeson and Kyle Lafferty. Riverside’s Hillary Saeger competed in the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls, and Lauren Schmetterling in the women’s eight. (Both Hillary and Lauren trained with their respective crews in Philadelphia and Princeton.)

Riverside is honored to play a part in the lives of each of these athletes, and so proud of their performances at the World Championships.

–Amanda Milad, Riverside Boat Club


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