As Data pointed out, this was a gas station a decade ago. You can still see it in Google Streetview
. If we reach a point where gas stations-turned-parklets can't be later developed because parklets are nice, then it will never be in an institution's best interest to turn a gas station into a parklet. That would be a bad outcome.
I never cease to be amazed at how bad Mission Main is. Any competent housing developer could probably fit in another 500 units there without displacing anyone or even really breaking a sweat.
That's beside the point. The prior history as something awful in now way whatsoever affects the argument as to whether a now-park is or is not worth saving. Anyway, I'm not digging in and demanding they save the park, simply observing that it it's unfortunate that this is happening. There simply is no argument on any side that rationally can prove that removing a small piece of greenspace, here, where it is, is 100% fine and good. And we (the collective we, on this forum) generally ignore, in all the ways we all support development and are enthusiastically pro-urban, the very real and constantly emerging evidence that cities are in many ways adversely impacting health, including mental health... and the absence of exposure to greenspace is a significant risk factor for this. So I don't think it's something to be taken lightly. The LMA overall is a very unpleasant area; the presence of the Fenway is great, but it's really an exception to the rule. The rest of the LMA is overall an aesthetically oppressive and overcrowded area, and standing on the corner of Ward & Huntington is psychologically pretty damned far from the one major park (that really is on the margin of this whole area). Anyway, the point is that greenspace is important for many reasons, and just because it gets used as a lever by NIMBYs to fight development does not remove the actual real importance of it, or of sound and sensible urban planning.
Mission Main is abysmal. The traffic circulation, architecture, and density are pretty appalling. I am too young to have any memory of it before the old iteration was torn down, but I am in this area often and every time I see it, I wish it had been done better. That
would have been a much better place to actually plug in a real park, along with some actual density, instead of the crappy little lawns surrrounded by black-painted aluminum fencing that we got instead. Perhaps, some day, redevelopment can be done here.