Ropewalk Community Space
The Ropewalk, in the Charlestown Navy Yard, is a ¼ mile long historic building that runs along
Chelsea Street. The National Parks of Boston (NPB) has 2,500 sq. ft. of space on the west end of
the building that they have designated for community space. Now is the time for you to shape the
future of this space with your ideas and input as to how this space might provide a place for community
activities and programs.
The NPB and Boston Society of Architects (BSA) engaged three
Boston architectural firms: EYP, The Design Lab, and Charles
Rose Architects to participate in a day long design workshop on
September 20, 2019 with representatives from the National Park
Service, City of Boston, Ropewalk developers and the Charlestown
community. Drawing on the stories and history of the site and
hearing from community groups of the many potential public
uses for the site – from youth after school programs to arts and
cultural programs and events, the architects spent a month capturing those ideas and developing
design concepts for development of the space.
On Thursday, October 24, 2019, the NPB in collaboration with
the BSA held a community meeting at the Ropewalk where the
three architectural teams presented their design concepts for reimagining
the space as a place for community activation and use.
The Ropewalk design effort builds on a year-long community
engaged creative placemaking process led by the National Parks of
Boston in collaboration with the City Parks Alliance and the Trust
for Public Land. The Creative Placemaking process is an opportunity for the Park to engage with
the Charlestown community in developing ways to connect the community to the navy yard and
waterfront through place based arts and cultural programming.
The Ropewalk, designed by architect Alexander Parris and opened
in 1838, supplied all of the rope needs of the United States navy
through most of its operation. Starting in the mid 1950’s it served
as a research facility to understand the properties of nylon rope.
The Ropewalk closed in 1971, but remains the only existing granite
ropewalk building in the United States.