We appreciate the recent article on the threat to the Prouty Garden, a hidden treasure at Children’s Hospital (“Expansion may oust a treaured retreat,” Page A1, Aug. 2). This oasis is a welcome respite for families, patients, and hospital staff, and evidence that green, peaceful environments help heal us.
There’s a key reason the garden has flourished for so many years. The historic three-story white marble building on the southern edge has been the perfect neighbor, allowing plenty of sunlight while its surrounding walls help create a micro-climate and protect the mature trees from strong winds. That building, known as 55 Shattuck, or the Wolbach Building, is also slated for demolition despite a pending petition for landmark status. One of the original Longwood medical area structures, the classic ionic facade and inviting steps would be replaced with a loading dock and shuttle drop-off on the ground floor of the future 12-story clinical building.
Children’s Hospital can do better. Its stance is that further development enables state-of-the-art medical care for sick children. However, where there’s a will there’s a way. With its enormous resources and property holdings, Children’s has other options. Health and healing are not simply about high-tech treatment.
The Prouty Garden and 55 Shattuck Street lift the spirits and speak to the history of a community and a society here in Boston. Let’s not lose these precious resources.