40,000 Sq. Ft. Skatepark Underneath the Zakim Bridge to Break Ground in Fall

After more than ten years of fundraising, setbacks and design changes, Boston’s long-awaited skatepark is just a few months away from becoming reality with the help of a $1.5 million contribution from Vans, a footwear retail chain based in Cypress, Calif.

After more than ten years of fundraising, setbacks and design changes, Boston’s long-awaited skatepark is just a few months away from becoming reality with the help of a $1.5 million contribution from Vans, a footwear retail chain based in Cypress, Calif.

Lynch Family Skatepark

Lynch Family Skatepark

“We are really proud to be a part of this historical project and to bring a worldclass skate park to Massachusetts, the original home of our founders, the Van Doren family,” said in a press release Vans President Kevin Bailey. “We look forward to celebrating the park opening alongside the whole community,” he added.

The announcement was made by the Charles River Conservancy, a nonprofit group that works for the renewal of the urban parklands along the Charles River. Van’s donation adds to the $3 million that the nonprofit managed to raise over the past decade from various sources, including the Lynch Foundation for which the park will be named, the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and more than 400 skaters who also offered their support in the design stages. Additionally, Vans will chip in with $25,000 each year to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for ongoing maintenance of the skatepark over the next seven years.

The 40,000-square-foot Lynch Family Skatepark will be created on a former brownfield under the loops of the iconic Leonard P. Zakim Bridge in the North Point Park in East Cambridge. A team of architects from Canada-based Stantec and landscape architecture firm Halvorson Design Partnership designed the skatepark, while ValleyCrest Landscape Development will serve as general contractor for the project and California Skateparks will build the park. The construction crews will break ground on the project sometime during this fall, the Charles River Conservancy announced. The development team has yet to determine a final date of completion. The park will be managed by DCR and will be open for free for skateboarders, BMX freestyle riders, in-line skaters, scooter riders and athletes in wheelchairs. Once open, the venue will also house large-scale professional skating events, two of which will be held each year by Vans.

North Point Park occupies 8.5 acres of land in Cambridge and was opened in 2007 as mitigation for the parkland lost during the Big Dig, the megaproject that rerouted the elevated John F. Fitzgerald Expressway that ran through the heart of the city into a 3.5-mile tunnel.

Rendering credits to Stantec via the Charles River Conservancy