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Process kicks off to transform West Roxbury's Tim White Way

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

The entrance of Tim White Way on Centre Street in West Roxbury. Photo by Jill Eshelman

Nestled into the heart of West Roxbury's Centre Street district, Tim White Way gives pedestrian access from the Highland train station to local shops, the post office, and restaurants. In 2019, the brick-lined pedestrian walkway was renamed during a ceremony attended by Mayor Marty Walsh and a number of community members honoring Tim White, a beloved West Roxbury resident who passed away in 2017.

West Roxbury Main Streets, a local non-profit working to keep the business district vibrant, identified Tim White Way as an opportunity - one that would re-purpose and re-energize the space beyond its current state. Other than Millennium Park, the district has few other public green spaces. West Roxbury Main Streets sees the transformation of Tim White Way as the first installation of a potential system of pocket parks sprinkled throughout the area. The ultimate goal is to provide residents with a walkable series of lively places to explore, to gather for community events, to eat and drink goods from local restaurants, or to simply rest and take in the scenery.

In January 2020, West Roxbury Main Streets participated in a Martin Luther King Day of Service hosted by local architecture firm Payette. After a one-day design charrette, a team of designers presented mockups and visuals that serve as a starting point for the redesign. Once the pandemic hit, the project was placed on hold while West Roxbury Main Streets focused on providing support to businesses in the district.

Now, with Thriving Places Collaborative’s services, the Tim White Way project is once again moving forward!

A drawing of Tim White Way as a pocket park at night with people enjoying the public space, lighting along the walkway, public art, and furniture.
A rendering by Payette showing an inspirational design concept for Tim White Way in West Roxbury.

As project managers, we've already started collaborating with West Roxbury Main Streets, engaging community partners and residents throughout the process. We’re gathering ideas from these stakeholders on ways to add public art, revamped landscaping, lights, modular furniture, and other design elements to help create a unique identity for the space.

And as we approach more stakeholders about the project, the more support it gains. We recently met with Tim White's family to learn more about Tim and values that he lived by, brainstorming small ways to incorporate this into the project. They were thrilled knowing that "Timmy's" welcoming and friendly spirit would live on in this way. Members of the Roche Bros. grocery store leadership team and the owners of the Brigham & Women's Health Administrative building, abutters of Tim White Way, have both expressed excitement to see the space brightened up. The transformation also aligns with the City of Boston's initiative backing "tactical" (easy and low-cost) interventions that re-energize public spaces.

We are honored and excited to work alongside West Roxbury Main Streets to bring this placemaking project to fruition. Stay tuned as we continue to gather community input, partner with community organizations, and coordinate the transformation of Tim White Way into a bustling community hub and a centerpiece that will make the people of West Roxbury proud to call their own.


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