Carter Playground


A state-of-the-art park, providing the city expanded access to modernized playing fields, courts, and recreational equipment on the former grounds of a forlorn city playground.

The transformation of William E. Carter Playground on Columbus Avenue, is a joint collaboration between Northeastern and the city of Boston. Through a unique public-private partnership, the new park on Columbus Avenue will include upgraded athletic facilities and expanded opportunities for both city residents and Northeastern students to play sports and have fun.

Northeastern has committed $108 million to the project, $26 million in construction and $82 million in maintenance over 30 years.

“This will be a beautiful park, and it’s a shared resource that Northeastern and the community can take advantage of 12 months out of the year,” said Kathy Spiegelman, vice president and chief of campus planning and development at Northeastern. “It’s a public space that belongs to everyone.”

Northeastern increased the park’s size by 25 percent by incorporating its Camden parking lot into the renovation. The park will feature two full football and soccer fields with new playing surfaces that will include two baseball and softball fields—as well as new tennis courts, more open space, and a playground with equipment for children with disabilities. A temporary bubble will cover one of the fields during winter months to allow for year-round use.

The public park—the first in Boston to be named for an African American—is a hub of sports activity in the city’s South End and Roxbury neighborhoods. Not only does it serve as an important space for Northeastern’s club and intramural sports programs, in which nearly 6,000 students annually participate, but it’s also frequently used by numerous community organizations and city programs.