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At South Boston’s Lawn on D, a peek into parks’ future

The most conspicuous feature of Lawn on D, other than the bright blue and orange lawn chairs and big white tent over the bar, is an oversized swing set whose ring-shaped seats light up at night. Designed by the local firm Höweler and Yoon Architecture, the installation is a major draw: Search #lawnond on Instagram, and you’ll find lots of happy people posing on glowing O’s.

What’s clear is that the park satisfies a need — one that’ll become more and more evident as the Seaport fills in, and as today’s visitors rave about the experience on Twitter and Yelp. It’s whimsical recreation for an accelerated era, and the public appetite for it is only going to grow.

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"The outside marque at the BCEC not only added excitement around our event but it attracted buzz in the surrounding community and drew the attention of the media who put photos of the digital display in their press articles about our event!"

- Cory Bolotsky, MassChallenge, Inc

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Swing Time at The Lawn on D Will Be Powered by the Sun This Year

Last fall, the official opening of The Lawn on D featured what became the experimental park's most popular feature, Swing Time – a set of 20 engaging swings outfitted with LED lights that change color when swung at varying speeds and heights. As The Lawn on D's programming slate is poised to be bigger and better than last year, so too is Swing Time, which underwent environmentally sustainable improvements.

The product of Höweler + Yoon, a local and renowned architecture firm, Swing Time differs this year in that it will be powered by solar energy. This way, its flagship lighting feature will be maintained completely off the grid. It's aptly being called Swing Time 2.0.

"We call it 'eco-literacy,' the idea that architecture and design can help people become more ecology literate – that they are empowered to understand the relationships between their actions and the ecology that they are a part of," said Eric Höweler on the combination of environmentally friendliness and park innovations.

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Testimonial

"The outside marque at the BCEC not only added excitement around our event but it attracted buzz in the surrounding community and drew the attention of the media who put photos of the digital display in their press articles about our event!"

- Cory Bolotsky, MassChallenge, Inc

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MassMutual Center in Downtown Springfield gets new LED scoreboard, lighting

At first glance, the black rectangle in Scott Griffith's hands looks like a bumpy piece of plastic.

But those bumps are really LEDs: light emitting diodes. It's those diodes, spaced a centimeter apart, that will light up in a few months and display highlights, statistics and advertising to Springfield Falcons fans when they take the ice at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield.

The black rectangles each have their own bit of computer circuitry and fit together to form the 18-foot-by-12-foot scoreboard panels that will be hung in a four-sided box over the ice.

Curved pieces go on the corners and wide strips of LED display go on the top and bottom for constantly rotating words and images. The whole thing gets topped with permanent light-up signs lettered with MassMutual Financial Group's logo.

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“There’s nothing more rewarding to me than seeing a city-kid on a boat for the first time — smiling, confident, and amazed after catching their first fish. To keep our program running, we rely on the generosity and support of programs like the MCCA’s Community Partnership Grants. Their commitment to community programs, particularly youth programs, makes our small operation and all those smiles possible.”

- John Hoffman, Fishing Academy, Brighton, MA

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D Street Tunes: Here is the full DJ schedule for Lawn on D’S summer series ‘Lester Bangs Presents’

With only about a year of programming under its belt, outdoor space The Lawn On D might be this summer’s hottest music destination in Boston. This past weekend, the Southie-slash-Seaport multi-purpose venue hosted a jam-packed Narragansett party with Bearstronaut, and two upcoming Bowery Boston shows — Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros on June 17 and Passion Pit on July 23 — are already sold out.

 

Saturday nights at Lawn On D are taking a more chill approach, with a series of various personalities in the Boston music scene DJing parties that pay tribute to their favorite artists and musical moments in time.

 

It’s called Lester Bangs Presents, and it kicked off this past weekend with Eli “Paperboy” Reed spinning southern soul, and future events include the Boston Herald’s Jed Gottlieb spinning local favorites, DJ ABD throwing down all things related to Prince, and this writer tapping into his former life as DJ of the Pill for a night of Cool Britannia.

 

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Feature Video

Testimonial

"The outside marque at the BCEC not only added excitement around our event but it attracted buzz in the surrounding community and drew the attention of the media who put photos of the digital display in their press articles about our event!"

- Cory Bolotsky, MassChallenge, Inc

Social

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Keep Lawn on D alive — and put it on a sustainable path

WHEN THE Massachusetts Convention Center Authority first proposed an 18-month pop-up park on D Street in South Boston, the agency didn’t need a long-term plan to keep the space open afterward. But now it does.

Eventually dubbed the Lawn on D, the 2.7-acre park was supposed to bring some life to the area just east of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center until the authority could get a major expansion project underway. But two big things have happened: The Baker administration put the convention center expansion on hold. And the Lawn on D, with its extensive roster of events and public art installations, has proved to be an enormously popular attraction.

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"The BCEC is one of the few convention centers that offers free Wi-Fi service throughout the facility. It eliminates the need to negotiate this "must-have" service, results in considerable savings and satisfied attendees!

- Linda S. Bailey, CMP, National Fire Protection Association

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