A community project to create a venue for arts and culture as an intervention to the Covid-19 public health crisis. An open-air entertainment complex that kept Central Square culture alive through the pandemic by providing Covid-safe outdoor entertainment, shopping and meeting space.
Starlight Square was built in 2020 as an intervention to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Created by the Central Square Business Improvement District, Flagg Street Studio and Boyes-Watson Architects, Starlight transformed a municipal parking lot for cars into a place for people, providing much needed outdoor space for arts and cultural programming, out-of-school time learning, small business pop-up shops, food distribution, and civic events. In two years, it has hosted over 150 free, public events including the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School’s Senior Prom, the public celebration of life for civil rights icon and Cambridge community member, Dr Bob. Moses, and the City of Cambridge’s 41st Inauguration.
The BID’s work revolves first and foremost around placekeeping. Cities like ours are constantly in flux. To maintain and uplift what makes Central special, we leverage longstanding, intergenerational relationships to create spaces and opportunities for local residents, artists, and entrepreneurs to benefit from the richness of Central Square's Cultural District. In addition to our programming and pop-ups, the BID manages a team of Block-by-Block ambassadors and outreach workers. As stewards for the neighborhood, they are a welcoming presence in the Square, working to connect at-risk neighbors with social services, provide assistance to shop owners, residents, and visitors, and maintain our shared public spaces.
Central Square Business Improvement District (BID)
Founders, Matthew Boyes-Watson and Nina Berg, grew up blocks away from each other in Central Square, Cambridge. From urban design and architecture to music and Maradona, they started FLAGG because they wanted the freedom to explore and invest in ideas with the potential to alter the course of the neighborhood FOR THE BETTER. Everything comes back to the idea of place, with the city itself being the ultimate sandbox, offering endless opportunity to learn and play.
Flagg Street Studio
Boyes-Watson Architects offers a wide spectrum of architectural capability ranging from residential to commercial buildings to interiors and master planning. Our mission is to design for the people who live in or use our buildings and for the enrichment of the locale our buildings inhabit.