Those boarding a bus or train or just passing through at the Sen. Patricia McGovern Transit Center in Lawrence might be in a position to discover a new musical artist now that four custom-decorated and public pianos adorn the setting.
Last Saturday, Lawrence’s first public pianos were installed at the station, owned and operated by the Merrimack Valley Transit Authority. The pianos’ journey to Lawrence began when state Rep. Christina Minicucci learned about their availability and connected Newton Community Pride with the MVRTA.
“Newton Community Pride is thrilled to be able to donate and give a second life to our artfully created pianos at the MVRTA,” said Gloria Gavris, the organization’s board chair. “We hope music and song fill the air and are enjoyed by transit travelers in Lawrence,” Gavris added. Gavris also worked with MVRTA to arrange for Louis A. Gentile Piano Service to carefully and safely deliver the pianos.
The second-hand pianos have been placed in each of the station’s waiting areas, with an invitation to play. In a statement, Transit Authority officials said, “More than just adding a nice amenity, MVRTA sees these pianos as being a perfect fit with the authority’s vision of making its services, vehicles and spaces more visible, colorful, whimsical and inviting.”
The pianos will be followed by murals adorning the concrete in the transportation center, opening up a long-vacant retail space at the station as a natural nail art salon which will be operated by a local entrepreneur and artist, redesigning MVRTA’s logo and signage and painting its fleet of white buses in bold, vibrant colors that better reflect the diverse communities it serves.
“Train and bus stations are often perceived as boring and cold. McGovern is no exception,” said MVRTA spokesperson Niorka Méndez “Our goal to is to create meaningful, vibrant and welcoming waiting areas for the riding public and this is a great start. We encourage everyone to visit and take a picture with them!”
The McGovern Transportation Center, 211 Merrimack St., Lawrence, is served by MVRTA Route 33 North Andover and Route 39B North Andover Mall/Phillips Street buses, as well the Route 99 Commuter Bus to Boston and MBTA’s commuter rail trains to Boston’s North Station and Haverhill.