Take a Staycation in Fort Point: Artist Spruces Up the Harbor With Floating Palm Trees

A local visionary set up some tropical reminders that the cold can't last forever.

Although the weather has yet to offer people more than a few consecutive days of warmth this spring, one resident’s artwork is reminding everyone that it won’t stay cold forever.

As part of a project called “Tropical Fort Point,” designer Peter Agoos plopped more than a dozen palm trees into the harbor between the Congress and Summer Street bridges.

The temporary, floating public art project not only brightens a landscape overcast by the drab weather, but it also calls attention to the lack of “quality” open space in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood for these types of installations.

The motivation for the project also embraces a message about the importance of continuing the discussions on climate change. The floating trees, which look as though they are sprouting and growing right out of the murky harbor water, were inspired in part by Agoos seeing the Sudbury River flood an adjacent wooded wetland area this spring. According to the artist, the bottoms of the trees were submerged in the river’s overflow, making the landscape look more like a “wooded wetland.”

The project was originally supposed to rely on the installation of evergreens to get the point across to passerby, but due to the salt-resistant capabilities of the plants he used for “Tropical Fort Point,” he opted for the majesty palms instead. “This tongue–in–cheek preview of the effect of rising tides stakes a claim to the Channel wetscape as an unexploited green space,” Agoos said in a statement.

The concept was made possible with the help of the Fort Point Arts Community, in partnership with Friends of Fort Point Channel. The floating majesty palms will stay up in the area through June 15, as part of an “expanded public art series” that’s planned for May. Three additional art installations, which haven’t been revealed yet, will go up in the Fort Point Channel next month.

The majesty palms, installed by workers and Agoos on April 28, also kick-off a weekend-long open studio series in the neighborhood, beginning May 9, called the Fort Point Spring Open Studios Weekend. During that time, more than 75 artists will open their doors to the public. Studios will be open Friday evening from 4-7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 12-5 p.m., according to event details.