Thursday, June 22, 2006

Public Square 1908

source: Cleveland State University Library

A panorama from 1908 shows that Public Square is in fact four Squares as a result of the needs of crosstown commerce and interurban travel. While nearly 100 years has passed, the Public "Squares" above are nearly indistiguishable from the uninspired spaces we drive/walk/bike through today (I would imagine the lack of glass and granite postmodern towers as the most immediate give-away).

Today, we are still following the misguided paths and ideas of an earlier time. There isn't a better public rallying point for promoting optimism of overcoming a tired tradition, than by uniting the crisscrossed park, taking a new direction around the Square and re-inventing a space that would become a world-class crossroads and meeting place for residents, travelers, employees, and visitors. Today is an opportune time to cast away the park-like "central interchange" that the century-old panorama above shows and make dramatic design gestures within a unified Public Square that the public once again has claim to.


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