As you may have read in the news or on our Facebook page, sadly our petition to grant the Prouty Garden landmarks status was denied by the Boston Landmarks Commission. Garden supporters and hospital administrators alike appeared before the commission to present our perspectives and positions. Ultimately, the commission voted 7-1 to deny the petition.
As Children's Hospital nurse Karen Rapallo described, for our community of patients, families, care providers and garden supporters, the news was heartbreaking. Short of convincing the hospital directly, the landmark petition represented possibly our best shot at protecting the Prouty Garden from destruction.
From the beginning, we have sought only to protect the beautiful, historic, one-of-a-kind healing space that Olive Higgins Prouty gifted to the hospital “as long as there are children and families to enjoy it.” We completely support the need for a new clinical building and it pains us deeply to think we could be delaying care for children down the line.
But consider this important question: if the Prouty Garden is destroyed, and the need for yet another new building arises 10 or 20 years in the future, what will be done then? Will we expand an existing building? Will we move certain outpatient clinics off of the main campus? Perhaps we will have to reimagine a new parking solution and build on the current parking garage site?
The fact remains, we will have to do something. We are simply asking the hospital administration to do that thing now, and save the Prouty Garden. Save the place that has healed so many and could heal so many more to come. Save the sacred place where David’s ashes are scattered and many children have passed away. Save the space that has gifted sanity and peace to stressed staff members and patient families. Save this special garden that means so much to thousands of children, families and hospital community members and supporters the world over.
There will always be a need to expand. There will never be another Prouty Garden.
As we regroup and gather our resolve, we plan to continue our efforts as long as our beloved Dawn Redwood tree is still standing and the Prouty Garden survives. After some consideration, our Change.org page will remain open and will continue to be an outlet for people to publicly show their support. Please also continue to send us your stories and your ideas, join our mailing list, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates when they become available.
Thank you so much for your ongoing support.