Library honors namesake; bas-relief to be dedicated

Bas-relief at libraryAllston-Brighton Tab
By Richard Cherecwich, Staff Writer
Thu Dec 06, 2007

Allston, Mass. – The late Brian Honan is widely remembered as a passionate and committed district city councilor who served the people of Allston-Brighton well during his six years in office.

On Saturday, a bas-relief of the late city councilor will be dedicated at the library he helped bring to the community and which now bears his name.

At 11 a.m. on Dec. 8, Mayor Thomas Menino, City Council President Maureen Feeney and Honan’s older brother, state Rep. Kevin Honan, will help dedicate the relief at the Honan-Allston Library. The Friends of the Honan-Allston library acquired money from the Browne Fund and worked with Honan’s family to design the relief, which will be placed on the outside of the library along North Harvard Street.

“We wanted to do something that commemorated Brian and the community,” said Nancy Grilk, Brian Honan’s chief of staff for three years and the president of the Friends of the Honan-Allston Library. “I can’t think of anything better than what’s been dedicated to him. We miss him a lot, and this is a good way to remember him.”

Honan died in 2002 from complications after cancer surgery, and the library was renamed in his honor in 2003.

The previous Allston branch of the Boston Public Library on Harvard Avenue was closed in the early 1980s, and the neighborhood was without a library for nearly two decades. Former city councilors laid the groundwork for a new library, and when Brian Honan took office in 1996, he made a library in Allston one of his foremost concerns. With the support of Menino, the neighborhood and land provided by Harvard University, Allston was given a new library, one that is perhaps the most impressive branch library in Boston.

“This library has become focal point of Allston. Libraries are just critically important; they provide access to books and to the Internet. That was clearly one of [Brian’s] most significant accomplishments; bringing the library back to Allston,” Kevin Honan said. “Our family is very honored that the library has named it after him, so [the relief] is a very fitting tribute to him.”

The artwork was created by Gloucester sculptor Pablo Eduardo, who has previously done work for Boston College and the statue of former Mayor Kevin White at Faneuil Hall. The piece is about the size of an adult’s outstretched arms, according to head librarian Sarah Markell, and will go above the book drop to the left of the library’s main entrance.