20 March
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2024 Copley Square Revamp: An Overview of the Park’s Renovation Project | By Amandine Sime

The City of Boston’s Parks & Recreation, in collaboration with architecture and design firm Sasaki, is currently revamping Boston’s iconic Copley Square.

Copley Square is famously home to Trinity Church. The Boston Public Library sits prominently adjacent to the park allowing the park to serve as a de facto “front yard” for the one of the nation’s first libraries (1848)! With its perfectly central Back Bay location, Copley Square has always been a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Farmers markets, cultural events, protests, and marches have been held in this historic location. Each day the area buzzes with activity, especially from those coming in and out of the John Hancock tower (200 Clarendon Street) and the traditional Copley Plaza Hotel (now Fairmont Copley Plaza).



Planning began more than five years ago as neighbors and local business constituents were surveyed on how they’d like the park to be reimagined. Renovations began in July of 2023. It’s the first time the park has gone under comprehensive reconstruction since the 1980s. According to the City of Boston, the expected duration of this project is 16 months and the park should be reopening in December 2024. The park has been and will remain closed during construction, which began later than desired due to the approval needed from MBTA (the Green Line travels almost directly below  Copley Square along Boylston Street). 


The improvements being made to the neighborhood park are an execution of the city’s plan to make the Back Bay plaza “more human.”  Here’s how it lays out:

The renovation project, with a budget of $16.9 million, includes the following changes: 

  • More seating – a deck-like seating area, that will be called a “raised grove”, will be built on an elevated platform among the park’s trees. New seating locations will also be made more intentionally, keeping in mind the best views that visitors like to see.
  • Upgraded fountain pool – The previous depth of the pool fell into the category of a swimming pool and, with no lifeguards present, it presented safety concerns. The pool of the fountain will be made shallower for this reason. The overall design and character of the fountain will also be enhanced, with seating being added around it.
  • Adding public art – the Boston Art Commission will be adding new art made by practicing visual artists and poets who have been selected by City officials.
  • More trees – While the pre-existing trees and their roots will be protected by the raised seating areas, more trees will be added to provide abundant shaded areas. 
  • New lighting and pathways – These additional paths and lights will help visitors explore the revamped square  and offer improved safety for the area!


The reveal and opening of a greener, more accommodating, more flexible, and upgraded Copley Square is surely something to look forward to. So mark your calendars for December 2024… just in time for First Night! 

For those who want to stay in the loop about the Copley Square renovation, the City of Boston has a webpage dedicated to the project with monthly construction updates.