HOLDEN STREET to BROWN STREET
This section of the North Branch already has a nearly complete ribbon of green which would be optimized in this alternative. The space would be improved with plantings and safer and more inviting connections to the adjacent neighborhoods. Across from the Porches Inn the chute walls could be removed to make way for a series of steps down to the river. This change allows for some creative opportunities.
For example the steps could serve as bleachers and the wall of the MASS MoCA building on the opposite side of the river used as backdrop for community movies in the summer. A bridge near the confluence of the two branches might be considered to provide an alternative access point to MoCA or the completion of a loop path on the museum side of the river.
In this section of the North Branch, adjacent to MASS MoCA, additional engineering within the flood chutes could be fashioned to capture the river’s flow. The resulting ‘on demand’ impoundment would provide small boats and kayaks a place to paddle. The damming up of the river would help to diminish the ‘drainage ditch look’ in low water though it is
recognized this option would negatively impact water quality by making the river warmer. This design might be designed with a water wheel to produce a bit of electricity or power an
art installation at MoCA. The mini dam would be designed so it could be lowered in advance of predicted floods to maintain the full flow capacity of the chutes.