PORTSMOUTH — Main Street Portsmouth has received a grant of $1,100 from PALS, Inc. volunteer women’s organization, in support of the 535 Project, designed to convert an eyesore in the heart of Boneyfiddle into an attractive pocket park.
PALS’s funds will sponsor woodwork needing attention on the exterior and interior of the site’s façade and painting of wooden trim. The funds will also help create a logo on the sign that will tell the story of the space when installed in the spring of 2021.
“”PALS is happy to play a small part in supporting the development of a ‘pocket park’ at 535 Second Street. Main Street Portsmouth has done a wonderful job in removing a safety hazard and creating a “backyard for Boneyfiddle.” We’re pleased to help add some finishing touches to this project,” said PALS President Tess Midkiff.
Work on the project has been ongoing for the past two years to save remaining sides and the façade after the collapse of the northern walls and the rear of the property resulting from extensive water damage over a decade ago. Over the course of 18 months, the space has been cleaned, damaged brick removed and steel has been erected to secure the façade. Electricity and water lines have been installed and a slab of decorative concrete has been poured with open spaces left for above-ground flower beds to be created.
The façade now sports new ornamental steel gates and a water fountain just inside the entrance. Many other more minor issues have been addressed and now Main Streets is seeking
sponsorships for final touches and furniture necessary to complete the original vision of the space.
“Main Street set out to create a space for the community to use— from friends meeting over lunch to shoppers taking a break from Second Street merchants, or musicians wanting a public venue to play or community members to just gather— it is so exciting to see so many groups and people embracing our project and working together to create a new, beautiful green space unlike anything we’ve had here before. We are very excited to be offering this new space for the community,” said Joseph Pratt, Main Street Portsmouth Executive Director.
In 2020 PALS has given $10,600 in grants to community organizations in need, Midkiff announced at the latest PALS meeting.