Connecting Quincy's Historic Downtown Core

Halvorson | Tighe & Bond Studio as Landscape Architect / Urban Design

Bringing new life and activity to historic Quincy, Hancock-Adams Common is poised to become a civic focal point for the community.  This new activated park and streetscape connects cyclists and pedestrians to the bustling downtown. Contemporary water features and elegant materials establish a celebratory ground that commemorates Quincy’s national renown as the birthplace and home of two American presidents. 

Halvorson’s ambitious park design involved a realignment of the urban fabric, including the reconstruction of two major streets to develop an integrated vision for the park and surrounding historic downtown. The transformation of Hancock Street introduces a new pedestrian promenade and plaza, which serve as an attractive setting for three of the city’s most important historic sites: United First Parish Church, Old City Hall and Hancock Cemetery.  

Hancock Adams Common

Landscape Forms as Manufacturers

In the center of Quincy’s downtown are three historic sites: United First Parish Church, where Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams are entombed, Old City Hall, and the nearly 400-year-old Hancock Cemetery. The three landmarks are now connected by the Hancock Adams Common, a civic park and plaza that has re-envisioned the city’s historic district. But for years, the church was separated from the city hall and cemetery by a four-lane roadway. The ambitious Commons project, a collaboration between the City of Quincy and landscape architecture firm Halvorson Tighe & Bond Studio, rerouted Hancock Street and replaced it with a tree-lined pedestrian promenade gracing the three-acre park. Water features abound in the park, as do grassy spaces, seating walls, and custom benches that invite people to congregate and relax. The rich brown tone of oiled ipe benches contrasts the gray tones of granite surfaces throughout the park. Radiused benches nestle into small alcoves along the walkway, offering semiprivate conversation spaces. Open since 2018, the Common is rekindling a sense of civic pride and sparking further improvements in downtown Quincy.

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