Current Project — Esplanade Signage Plan

The Esplanade is a continuous Park that stretches over 3 miles from the Museum of Science to the Boston University Bridge on the Boston side of the Charles River. Within the Park there are various amenities, historic monuments, recreational facilities, and gathering areas. The Esplanade’s current signage is widely varied in design and purpose and does not make it easy for visitors to enjoy all that the Park has to offer.

The Park is one of Boston’s best loved and most actively used open spaces, with over 3 million people visiting the Esplanade each year. In an effort to improve the Park experience for all users, an Esplanade Signage Plan is in development to provide sufficient information and create a safer, more easily navigable Park system.

Esplanade Signage Plan Goals include:

  • Provide a warm welcome and information to Park users.
  • Celebrate the Park’s historical, cultural, and environmental relevance.
  • Safely guide Park users to landmarks, facilities, and community services.
  • Lead to a more connected Park for residents, commuters, and tourists.
  • Establish a strong sense of place and community pride.
  • Project a consistent image for pedestrian and biking routes.
  • Improve community health by encouraging recreation, walking, bicycling, and public transit.

Esplanade Association is working in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) on sign content and permitting. Local landscape architecture firm Halvorson Design Partnership, Inc. and national signage expert Design Communications Ltd. are working together to lead the design, fabrication, and installation process.

Phase 1 – Welcome Signs

After several years of work with our partners at the DCR, we were thrilled to install new Welcome Kiosks at six park entrances in 2018, including: Arlington St., Dartmouth St., Fairfield St., Massachusetts Ave., Silber Way, and Boston University. The kiosks provide park visitors with a map and information on the park and its offerings to help improve the visitor experience.

Three additional welcome kiosks will be installed at Charles St., Blossom St., and Charles River Dam Road once construction activities within those areas are complete. This project was funded by contributions from Esplanade Association members, the George B. Henderson Foundation, the Lynch Foundation, and the Museum of Science.

Phase 2 – Educational Signs 

In 2018, Esplanade Association will be working to design, fabricate, and install educational signs that highlight the cultural, historical, and environmental significance of the Esplanade. The Educational Signs will be a fun interactive way to engage Park visitors by pointing out specific monuments, trees, flowers, or other elements of the Park. Proposed sign locations include: Hatch Memorial Shell, Charles Eliot Memorial, Lotta Fountain, Dartmouth Street Landing, Playspace, Arthur Fiedler Memorial, Storrow Lagoon, and Oliver Wendell Holmes Memorial.

Thanks to our generous supporters!

Phase 1 of the Esplanade Signage Plan was funded by contributions from Esplanade Association members, individual donors, the George B. Henderson Foundation, the Lynch Foundation, and the Museum of Science.

Special thanks to our partners at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection, the National Park Service, and the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site for providing photo permission.

We are currently fundraising for Phase 2! For more information on membership levels or to make an individual contribution please contact

What EA Does
improve park use, aesthetics, and safety
Park Care
restore and enhance the park’s landscape
enrich, connect and promote park stewardship
help protect and improve the park