Boardwalk makeover honours province’s first Jewish judge

The Halifax waterfront will look a bit greener this spring thanks to the Nathan Green Square revitalization project.

The Nathan Green Square is an elevated grassy area near the ferry terminal which was dedicated to Judge Nathan Green in 1983. Green was a strong community supporter and the first Jewish man to become a judge in Nova Scotia.

By Charlotte Harrison

Jacob Ritchie, planner and project manager for the revitalization, stands beside the Nathan Green Square (Charlotte Harrison photo).

The Halifax waterfront will look a bit greener this spring thanks to the Nathan Green Square revitalization project.

The Nathan Green Square is an elevated grassy area near the ferry terminal which was dedicated to Judge Nathan Green in 1983. Green was a strong community supporter and the first Jewish man to become a judge in Nova Scotia.

The revitalization is a $400,000 joint project between the Waterfront Development Corporation Ltd. and the Halifax Regional Municipality, with funding divided equally.

Improvements will ease access to the space, and will include a new wooden boardwalk, more stairs and wider walkways. Construction began in late February, and is expected to be completed in a few weeks, said Jacob Ritchie, the project manager and planner.

“The guys are all working hard, especially considering the winter conditions. We aim to be done March 31st, which gives us April in case things go over schedule.”

New stairs are being built to invite people into the space from all directions (Charlotte Harrison photo).

Other aspects of the revitalization project, such as improved lighting, more wooden benches, new garbage cans and added greenery, will take place in April.

“This used to be one of the darkest places on the waterfront.  At night, it was like ‘Get me out of here!’  The new lighting will make the area much safer,” said Ritchie.

Ritchie also said that between 500 and 600 new plants will be added to the space, some of which are intended to be attractive in the winter and summer months.

Kelly Rose, communications advisor for the Waterfront Development Corporation Ltd., said the improvements will likely draw more people to the space.

“Many other waterfronts I’ve visited are so private. This will be a great open space for people to relax and watch the boats come in, eat lunch, or wait for the ferry,” she said. “It’s a great place to escape to.”

While plans to improve the space have been in discussion for several years, a class project completed by Dalhousie planning student TJ Maguire in 2008 helped take the idea from concept to reality.

“We were asked to choose a neglected site in Halifax to redesign,” said Maguire. “This is the only green space between the casino and Sackville landing, and it’s also historically significant.”

Maguire was awarded the Lezlie Oler Prize for an urban improvement proposal for Halifax that is both sustainable and affordable. Professor Deborah Buszard, who assigned the project, worked with Maguire to bring his ideas to the attention of Mayor Peter Kelly and city planners.  Maguire also met with the Green family for approval.

“I’m delighted that the waterfront authority and the city has decided to use his ideas,” Buszard said.

TJ Maguire, a Dalhousie planning student whose award-winning project sparked discussion about the revitalization, explains some design flaws in the original space:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfNAO5Lm-UQ

 

External links
HRM page on the project
Waterfront Development project information
Planting Concept Drawing

Click the link below to view a PDF of TJ’s design plans for the space:

Nathan Green Square by TJ Maguire