This unbuilt project won a 2016 Unbuilt Architecture Award from the Boston Society of Architects.
Moon Island is part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area and the location of the Boston Fire Department Training Academy, the Boston Police Department Firing Range, and four decommissioned sewage retention tanks from the 1800’s.
In 1878, sewage was pumped to Moon Island for storage and released into Boston Harbor on the outgoing tides. Four 50 million gallon 900’ x 150’ x 17’ deep cut-granite storage tanks were built. The sewage facility was in operation until the Deer Island Treatment Plant was constructed in1968.
Moon Island is owned by the City of Boston and is not available for public access. In 1996, Mayor Menino planned to reuse the tanks on Moon Island as a salmon farm. Currently, a Quincy State Representative is supporting the repurposing of the sewage tanks as fish/shellfish farms for educational purposes and open to the general public.
The Moon Island Zipline project creates an opportunity for the general public to access Moon Island by ziplining over the existing tanks without having access to the secure island. The existing sewage tanks are repurposed as a floating wetland and are planted with native species, providing a habitat for marine life and to help clean the water. Two glass and concrete towers on either side of the island are accessed exclusively by boat. Stairs lead to the ziplining platforms, which are shifted in plan for easy take off and landing. The towers provide exhibits with educational information about the history of Moon Island and its sustainable mission.