New Bedford officially opens new Wing's Court

NEW BEDFORD — The newly landscaped Wing’s Court will help revitalize downtown, city and state officials said Thursday at the official opening of the new “pocket park.”
“This is a place where we can gather as a city for all sort of events and memories will be made,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said.
The state awarded the city a $125,000 grant in June 2010 to fix the space once occupied by Wing’s Department Store, which was destroyed in a 1974 fire.
City masons said they started work on the courtyard last September, smoothing the ground, mixing cement and carefully placing thousands of bricks and hand-selected cobblestones to frame the plantings in the courtyard, which includes a stage and three chess tables.
The space will eventually connect to Custom House Square, where the city is planning a park.
City employees “actually did the work. It’s a unique thing. No other city has done that” said Kurt Gaertner of the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, who distributes the Gateway Cities park grants.
“I’m proud of saying that I was involved with the project,” said foreman Jose Costa, 59, who has worked for the city for 14 years and said he had brought his family by to survey his handiwork.
Richard Rose, 50, of Fairhaven, who attended the ceremony Thursday, said he believes nearby restaurants, which include On a Roll, Brick and Pour House, will make sure the park stays pristine.
“I have the impression (the city is) definitely going to keep this up and at the very least pressure will come from surrounding businesses,” Rose said.
“The park is great,” he added. “It’s calm; it’s peaceful. … The bikers and skateboarders haven’t discovered it yet. I think overall it adds more culture to the area.”
June 15, 2012 12:00 AM
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