New England Aquarium Central Wharf Master Plan

The New England Aquarium engaged CBT to develop a visionary site design to celebrate its prime location, engage pedestrians with an improved Central Wharf, and redefine the visitor experience to this regional destination. Since its completion in 1969, the Aquarium has been one of the few distinguished civic destinations along Boston Harbor, attracting 1.3 million visitors annually. They are renowned for their sustained commitment to marine animal conservation, educational leadership, and innovative scientific research.  

The plan developed by CBT envisions a cohesive visitor experience with a new “Blueway,” an enhanced and open pathway that leads through the site to the Atlantic and around the aquarium. Central Wharf would extend to a new, richly landscaped island connected by pedestrian bridge. Selective structure removal will make way for the public to access floating docks that step down to the water and enhance the marine experience. Long-overdue physical and visual connections to Boston and the Greenway will provide meaningful context to this unique place for visitors year-round.

Mirroring the Aquarium’s mission of preservation and celebration of New England’s natural and marine resources, the vision for Central Wharf reestablishes the New England Aquarium as a critical and vibrant component to Boston’s built and civic fabric.

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