News & Updates

Celebrating Boston's Past and Creating its Future

May 10, 2012

BRA Looks Back: Beantown's Centennials

Director Peter Meade moderated the Suffolk University's Ford Hall Forum celebrating Boston's cherished centennials - Fenway Park, Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, and Zoo New England.  We all know that Fenway Park is the oldest ballpark in the nation, but did you know that the Fairmont Copley was the first hotel in the world with air conditioning?  How about opening day for the Franklin Park Zoo?  Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald gave Boston schoolchildren the day off from school.  Saul Wisnia, author of Fenway Park: The Centennial, shared stories of "America's Most Beloved Ballpark" and its generations of baseball fans.  Regional Vice President and General Manager of the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Paul Tormey, showcased the history behind Boston’s elegant landmark of tradition in the Back Bay.  President & CEO of Zoo New England, John Linehan, recapped the radical changes at Boston's zoo since 1912.

Did you know?

  • 50,000 people visited the Franklin Park Zoo during the 2012 April school vacation week.
  • May 19th is Zoo 100 Day, the first in a series of centennial celebrations.  The first 1,000 visitors will receive a mini cupcake or a shot of frosting, courtesy of Sweet Cupcakes.
  • The Fairmont Copley Plaza turns 100 on August 19th, 2012; 100 days of activities will precede the opening of its $20 million restoration.
  • "Honey Fitz" threw out the official first pitch at Fenway on April 20, 1912, and his grandchildren and great-grandchild threw out the 1st pitch on April 20, 2012, 100 years later.
BRA Participates in Loosen Up, Boston?  forum
Deputy Director of Community Planning, Randi Lathrop, participated in Loosen Up, Boston? a forum hosted by The Boston Globe. Panelists discussed how the City can work to balance Boston's existing character and the needs of local residents while enhancing urban vitality. The panel floated ideas on food trucks, affordable housing, night life, and transportation in the City. Other panelists included Boston Globe columnist Larry Harmon,  Future Boston Alliance Executive Director Malia Lazu,  RaceMenu CEO J. Alain Ferry, Chef and Owner of Bon Me Food Truck Ali Fong,  MBTA Director of Innovation Joshua Robin, and Fenway Civic Association President Bill Richardson.  

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