Monday, November 27, 2006

Making a Square Hip

Some local bloggers have been expressing frustrations with the new Fountain Square.

I haven't been down there since the grand opening concert. It was fun but I agree with the sentiment that it was rather sparse looking (before the huge crowd showed up, that is). There really wasn't anything much to sit on. It didn't feel like a place you would stop to hang out for a few minutes. (The cold and wind might have contributed to this atmosphere a little bit.) I think that the empty feeling may have changed a bit with the recent opening of the ice rink, but I have yet to verify by making another visit.

I was reminded of these recent articles on cooltown studios.

As I was casually web-surfing around, trying to get ideas for how I would like to see the Square evolve, I happened across a site I've visited often before, but I was shocked to notice something I've never noticed before. The logos for the Project for Public Spaces and the new Fountain square are uncannily simliar.

That is very striking. It brings to mind some questions:

a) Is the logo intentionally similar?
b) Was the PPS involved at all in the Square planning?

And I have some other questions:

a) Can we see some plans and/or studies that examine the square in this fashion?
b) A number of initial gripes about the square have been solved, but what about seating? Are there tables and chairs down there now? Will there be eventually?

I have a hunch that the answers might be buried in 3cdc's site, so I'm going to do some digging. There are a number of .pdf's that I need to download and read.

The new Fountain Sqaure probably has a way to go before it is a real Third Place, but I really think the potential is there.