A feature of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, this nearly one-acre, linear park is situated in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood and extends for approximately 500 feet, paralleling Surface Road. Designed by Kongjian Yu with Carol R. Johnson and Associates in 2005, the park interprets traditional Chinese design elements, gardens, and landscapes through a contemporary lens. The park’s northern, Essex Street entrance is marked by a minimalist, red-steel gateway. The sculptural, asymmetrical gateway features a stylized metal sampan sail, and evokes traditional Paifang archways, acting as a counterpoint to the “Chinatown Gateway,” erected in 1982, at the park’s adjacent southern terminus at Beach Street.
A curvilinear path, paved distinctly in a scalloped pattern that suggests natural forms and recalls traditional Chinese motifs, proceeds south from Essex Street, flanked by continuous stone benches and beds planted with species native to Asia, including ginkgo trees and ornamental grasses. Referencing entrances to traditional Chinese villages, five separate groupings of bamboo serve as visual screens, each framed by metal frames, painted red, that evoke vernacular bamboo scaffolds. A linear fountain and watercourse follow the curving northeastern edge of the path, animates the space and invites play. The naturalist fountain recycles stones that originally formed the city’s wharfs, which historically witnessed the arrival of Chinese immigrants, among others. As the path leads south, it transitions to an irregularly shaped plaza, that also serves as an outdoor theater. Furnished with moveable chairs, tables and umbrellas, the plaza hosts diverse programs, including Chinese New Year and lantern festivals.