The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, August 4, 2006


Historical Commission reacts to Center Park design

Sabrina Perry, coordinator of the Carlisle Center Park project next to Ferns garage on Lowell Street, returned to the Historical Commission on July 25 in a continuation of a public hearing on improvements in the park design. Paving materials for the parking lot, new fencing, the height of granite posts and suggested plantings all came under discussion, but the proposed fundraising by inscribing donors' names within the park drew opposition from the commissioners.

According to Perry, donors and names of persons being memorialized or honored would be engraved on granite benches and granite posts. Geoffrey Freeman was the most vocal member of the Historical Commission, objecting, "It is not personally appealing. This [level of memorialization] jeopardizes the simplicity of the center." He asked, "Why are we recognizing people for giving money on public land? People can donate without the benefit of inscription."

The park is owned by the Town of Carlisle and its beautification is a joint effort of the town and the Friends of the Carlisle Center Park. The role of the Perry family was clarified when Sabrina Perry pointed out that the park was never intended to be a memorial to her husband, H. Russell Perry, Jr., who died in February 2004. The Perry family once lived at 46 Lowell Street, adjacent to the park.

After much discussion, Commission members recommended that the memorialization be limited to a plaque mounted on one granite post that represents all donors with one simple inscription, and that a maximum of three granite benches be installed that would be inscribed "in honor of" or "in memory of" an individual.

The question of maintenance of plantings was raised, and member Larry Bearfield pointed out that landscaping is outside the purview of the Historical Commission. It was recommended that funds be set aside by the Friends of Center Park for maintenance.

If fundraising efforts fall short, how would park improvements go forward, Perry was asked. "We would look into CPA [Community Preservation Act] funds," she replied. Since CPA expenditures require Town Meeting action, residents would then be able to have a voice in the future of Center Park.

The Center Park hearing was continued until August 29. The Selectmen will consider the site review at their meeting on August 22.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito