Spectacle Island Design Competition
Harry Dodson’s award-winning proposal for Spectacle Island provided inspiration for the current restoration of the island and other sites in Boston Harbor. The plan proposed the use of fill from the Third Harbor Tunnel to restore the original drumlin shape of the island, altered as a result of centuries of use as an industrial area and excavation site. Construction of stone walls, fields, meadows and woodlands have transformed a wasteland into an attractive, accessible recreation area and environmental refuge. The pattern of walls and fields, typical of the traditional agricultural landscapes of Boston Harbor, is visible from the air, as the island lies directly in the flight path of planes approaching Logan International Airport. The use of fill to recreate drumlins - the original geologic landform of Boston Harbor - has been successfully completed on Spectacle as well as on Deer Islands. An extensive, handicapped-accessible path system links all areas of the island, including the summit of the two drumlin hills, providing dramatic vistas of the downtown Boston skyline and the rest of the harbor. A new public dock provides access to the island from downtown Boston. Use of native plants ensures that the Spectacle Island landscape fits in with the traditional character of the Harbor environment and will adapt well to the harsh maritime environment and weather.