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Boston Armenian Heritage Park to Be Completed by Fall 2010

BOSTON, Mass.—The Armenian Heritage Park on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is slated to be completed by the fall of 2010, reported Armenian Heritage Foundation president James M. Kalustian at a recent Board meeting.

How the Armenian Heritage Park in Boston will look by Fall 2010.
How the Armenian Heritage Park in Boston will look by Fall 2010.

“We are making extraordinary progress,” he said. “As of July 2009, 50 percent of the construction and engineering documents have been completed by the design team. The plans are presently being reviewed by the various state and city agencies.”

The Armenian Heritage Foundation’s Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from the 37 parishes and organizations within the Armenian American community in Massachusetts. Serving as honorary chairs are Massachusetts State Representative Peter Koutoujian and Massachusetts State Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian.

A gift to the City of Boston and recognized as one of the better designed parks, the Armenian Heritage Park is consistent with one of the themes of the Greenway: to acknowledge the history of Boston as a port of entry for immigrants worldwide, for those who have migrated to our shores and contributed to the richness of American life and culture.

The park, situated on four-tenths of an acre on parcel 13 of the Greenway, will serve as a link between the Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Christopher Columbus Park. It has received overwhelming support from neighboring community groups in Boston’s North End and Wharf District, as well as many of Boston’s civic, community, and political leaders.

The park includes lawns, benches, fountains, shade trees, as well as two key features, a labyrinth and sculpture, both to engage and delight children and adults. The labyrinth, a circular winding path in grass and inlaid stone with a single jet of water at its center, is symbolic of life’s journey and in celebration of achievements in art, science, commerce, and service. The sculpture, a 12-sided abstract geometric sculpture—a split rhombic dodecahedron—rests on a 16-foot diameter reflecting pool to commemorate the lives lost in the Armenian Genocide and in all genocides that have followed, and to celebrate those who left their country of origin and reconfigured their lives in the United States. The waters of the reflecting pool wash over its sides commemorating the lives lost and re-emerges as the single jet of water at the labyrinth’s center, representing hope and rebirth. The sculpture will be reconfigured every year with endlessly changing views.

“The ancient pattern of the labyrinth has crossed time, cultures, and religions throughout history, and has become a universal metaphor of peace, harmony, contemplation, and healing,” said Rev. Kathleen Musser of the Labyrinth Guild of New England. “[It is] an imaginative and creative device for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to engage one another… The labyrinth invites all expressions of faith and culture and ethnicity to walk the path of diverse community together. It quite literally circumscribes common ground for all to walk! The lessons are deep, but very obvious with every step we take: We are all on this path together. We may not walk at the same pace, and often we may feel like we are going in different directions, sometimes in step with each other, sometimes alone. But ultimately all of us are on the same path, and that path offers us all opportunities for reconciliation, wholeness, and hope.”

An endowed lecture on human rights, in collaboration with the Bostonian Society, will be held annually at Faneuil Hall and will feature internationally recognized scholars and leaders. Endowed funds are also being established to support the care and maintenance of the park in perpetuity as well as the annual reconfiguration of the sculpture.

For more information, visit www.ArmenianHeritagePark.net. For sponsorship information and key naming opportunities, contact Jim Kalustian (781-777-2407, jkalu@comcast.net), Charles Guleserian (617-484-6100, mgmcos@msn.com), Haig Deranian (617-484-2215, dhkd@comcast.net), or Walter Nahabedian (781-891-7249, wnaha@verizon.net).

5 Comments (Open | Close)

5 Comments To "Boston Armenian Heritage Park to Be Completed by Fall 2010"

#1 Comment By David Boyajian On August 24, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

Readers of this article may not know that there was a deliberate effort on the part of Turks and certain of their friends to make sure that the Armenian Heritage Park was never built. 

The most vociferous opponent of the Armenian Park was Peter Meade, a board member of the New England ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and a former VP of Blue Cross Blue Shield.  He was instrumental in bringing the ADL’s so-called No Place for Hate program into Blue Cross, and getting Blue Cross (using your health premiums) to fund No Place for Hate.  As readers of the Armenian Weekly know, the ADL denies the Armenian genocide and works with Turkey to defeat the Armenian Genocide resolution in the  US Congress:
Please visit http://www.NoPlaceForDenial.com

Here is an article about the Greenway (the Armenian Weekly, to its credit, and others also published it):

I also wish to say that elected officials who are often regarded as our “friends”, such as Senator Ted Kennedy, Cong.Michael  Capuano, and Mayor Tom Menino, were against the project from the beginning and acted as adversaries, not friends.  The Boston Globe (owned by the NY Times Company) also  flat-out misreported, and withheld vital facts about the Armenian Park  in an effort to sabotage the Park, and the Boston Herald (editor Rachel Cohen) was also hostile.   These are facts, even if they are not generally known .

Finally, what will the wording of the Park’s plaque on the Armenian genocide say?  We don’t know, but the word is that it will be watered down, per the request of Turks and certain –  shall we say, “others.”   Draw your own conclusions.

#2 Comment By Aram On August 24, 2009 @ 4:38 pm

Sorry, but this park doesn’t really excite me.

If only the Armenian organizers put more time and energy into democratizing and developing Armenia, and seeking reparations and restorative justice for the Armenian nation and people, especially the descendants of the Armenian Genocide.

After all, why should Bostonian Armenians rally around a “heritage” park (pieces of cement, glass, grass, metal, stone, trees, water, wood, etc. put together) when their own heritage — as ancient people condemned to live far away from their occupied Western Armenian and Cilician lands — is gradually assimilating and dying off, and when sovereign Armenia is depopulating as we speak?

#3 Comment By Rootarmo On August 24, 2009 @ 10:50 pm


The Armenian community is going to collectively wait for you to do something that is going to excite it. Your right as the Boston community builds a park everything else is in flames. Perhaps you need to move to Armenia and start a revolution.

#4 Comment By Mazloumian On August 25, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

The Heritage Park project has become unexciting because the Armenians involved in the project felt compelled to remain silent and compliant  so as to not upset “the delicate process” of seeing this project to fruition. So what if the delicate process meant that the word “Genocide” was removed? So what if the delicate process meant that those hostile to justice for the Armenians were allowed to keep working behind the scenes to foil this project? So what if the delicate process meant that detractors said the Armenian Park’s message had to be diluted because the Greenway allegedly has a “no memorials” policy, even though there are plenty of other memorials, including one paying tribute to the Holocaust? Does not the concept of “delicate process” sound familiar to you?

#5 Comment By marty On August 25, 2009 @ 9:52 pm

Both David and Aram’s comments make very good points and are commendable. I write to add my thoughts to Aram’s question ‘why should Bostonian Armenians rally around a “heritage” park…’ for the same reason Jews across the globe do so, to remember their Holocaust and force the world to acknowledge it, to bolster their image and to remind the world of such injustices and prejudice. Armenians would behoove themselves to emulate the Jews, learn from them to promote one’s own history and because perhaps the majority of non-Armenians in the United States have no idea who the Armenians are or how it is that they came the United States. They best know what they are marketed by the Turkish lobby and its supporters. At least this type of memorial helps to put the word ‘Armenian’ before the American people. Yes, we do have to support the homeland too and as such once again learn from the Jews.

I’ll fill in the blank for David’s comment ‘per the request of Turks and certain – shall we say, ”others.”’ While there are many Jews who sympathize and support Armenian matters, there are more in powerful positions nationally and internationally who favor/aid the Turkish perspective. The Jews had an oft repeated expression, ‘the friend of my enemy is my enemy,’ the Armenians are entitled to repeat the same sentiment.

Let the memorial be built and to be a seed planted for the words ‘Armenian Genocide’ to grow and be remembered by more than only the Armenians.