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Charles River Skatepark: making it a reality

Mike McIntyre, the designer of more than 150 skate parks, is now conjuring up a play space under an I-93 ramp in East Cambridge.

Stantec landscape architect Mike McIntyre at the site of the Charles River Conservancy’s planned skatepark. Learn more at a Boston Public Library meeting Oct. 10.Alex Gagne

I've designed more than 150 skateparks around the world, everything from a park for Tony Hawk's backyard to ones in South Africa and Chelsea Piers in New York. This, hands down, has ALL THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS TO BE THE BEST SKATEPARK I've worked on.

The setting [under an Interstate 93 ramp in East Cambridge] is extremely unique. To have some sort of roof structure, to be able to skate out of the heat or rain or snow, that's great. The location is so optimum: A LITTLE MORE THAN 100 FEET FROM THE WATERFRONT at the back entry of the Duck Tours ramp within North Point Park. The adjacent landscape and amenities are going to make this a great place to go, whether or not you come to skate. If a family member doesn't want to skate, there's plenty of walkways and parkland, and you're walking distance from the Museum of Science.


We don't want to do the same old gray concrete skatepark. There are going to be some REPLICA ELEMENTS THAT ARE FAMOUS FOR BOSTON SKATEBOARDERS. One is called the "hospital bank." It was an element that was ridden on for years outside a Boston hospital and was red brick and almost looked like a volcano. The Boston Bruins Foundation has donated to the park, so we have a circle with a "B" sandblasted into it. There is an element that extrudes high out of one of the bowls, and it's kind of like a Fenway green color. If kids want to CALL IT THE GREEN MONSTER, great.

It's really important to keep it as THE SIGNATURE OF THE COMMUNITY. That's why if you look at the portfolio of parks I've been involved in, they all look different. This park is not going to look like any park in the United States or the world.


— As told to Peter DeMarco.

Interview has been edited and condensed.