Our Mission: Waterfront Access
Pier 5 Committee
The Navy Yard Pier 5 Committee is dedicated to the public’s use and enjoyment of Pier 5 for generations and the multiple ways this can be achieved.
Pier 5 Background
The Charlestown Navy Yard waterfront is the geographic and historic head of Boston Harbor, yet it is marred by the long-neglected Pier 5, close to the historic USS Constitution on Pier 2. Originally built of wood in 1912, the abandoned concrete Pier 5 served for decades as the center of eleven Navy Yard piers dedicated to the construction of over 200 warships, missile production, and the vital advancement of US naval technology.
Here is where the bucolic Charles River and commercial Mystic River flow together into Boston’s inner harbor. Yet, despite Boston’s extensive coastal borders, the city’s center lacks easy public access to the waterfront due to years of intensive commercial, industrial and residential development along its harbor. A chain link fence surrounds Pier 5 today, where its more than 80,000 square feet offer nearly 360 degree views of the harbor, city skyline, and national historic sites.
Pier 5 Opportunity
Pier 5 provides magnificent views extending from Chelsea, East Boston, to the North End, including the harbor islands and the Boston skyline. Clearly visible from the abandoned pier are dynamic highlights of modern architecture such as the iconic Institute of Contemporary Art and the Zakim Bridge, as well as the venerable 17th century Custom House Tower, the Old North Church, and Charlestown’s Bunker Hill Monument.
Nowhere else on Boston’s 47 mile harbor walk can a visitor be so richly rewarded with vistas of Boston’s past, present, and future, displayed in one glorious sweep.
Pier 5 offers the opportunity for place-making at the very geographic and historic head of Boston Harbor. We imagine the reclamation of Pier 5 into a popular waterfront gathering spot for visitors from all over the world. The pier’s extraordinary location affords the potential to give birth to a creative nexus of art, culture and education that is inspired by the historic maritime history unique to this pier and surrounding Navy Yard.
Success means that in ten years, Pier 5 will stand next to the U.S.S. Constitution, Zakim Bridge, the Public Garden swan boats, the Old South Meeting House, Acorn Street in Beacon Hill, and the Bunker Hill Monument in any “Top 10” list of Boston sites to visit and experience.
“ ”Most American seaports, including Boston Harbor, have shamefully neglected the splendid history of their maritime efforts.”
— Samuel Eliot Morison