Watch CBS News

Protesters Fight To Save Prouty Garden At Boston Children's Hospital

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Prouty Garden has been a place of peace at Boston Children's Hospital for decades, but it could soon be gone.

Protesters made a last ditch effort Monday to save the sacred space for sick children and their families.

For Gus Murby and his son, the garden at the center of Children's Hospital was their escape.

"I know that today and tomorrow, somebody is walking through the door of Children's Hospital that's going to find out something like what we found out," said Murby.

His son was suffering with leukemia.

"Although it can be a nice hospital with great staff, it's a prison," he said. "What Prouty Garden really represents is the opportunity to get outside."

Prouty Garden
The Prouty Garden at Boston Children's Hospital. (WBZ-TV)

That garden has now stood for nearly 60 years, with a 65-foot-tall dawn redwood as the centerpiece.

There was a protest at the hospital Monday to try to save all of that.

The hospital plans to construct an 11-story building over Prouty Garden that they say will ultimately save lives.

Some of their own doctors are opposed to that plan.

"Healing doesn't only take place on the wards with the doctors and nurses, but it also takes place when they're out there in that greenery," said Dr. Robert Petersen. "And it's a respite from the hospital."

As for Gus Murby, he spent several months in this hospital, and in this garden. When doctors told him his son would not make it, it was here he chose to take him.

"We finally were at a spot where they were able to determine that he had some infections that weren't going to get better," said Murby. "We asked if we could take him out to the garden and say goodbye to him."

Murby says the power the garden has on making children feel better is one reason why he doesn't want to see it go.

"The number of children that have come there and gotten as much relief as they can or as much escape from the hospital as they can, and the hope and the fear and some incredible sadness that can occur in that garden—somehow or another, that garden soaks it up," he said.

The garden was denied landmark status earlier this year. The hospital could still reverse course, but it is fully in their hands at this point.

Children's gave WBZ a statement saying, "Our expansion will focus on open and green spaces to support healing throughout our campus, year round. At the end of the process, there will be approximately 20% more green space than we have now."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.