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Old 04-04-2014, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,600,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Sorry, pal, but you're wrong and it doesn't matter what you consider yourself.

"A town square is an open public space commonly found in the heart of a traditional town used for community gatherings. Other names for town square are civic center, city square, urban square, market square, public square, piazza, plaza, and town green."

Let me explain it in an easy term, a town square is a park, but not all parks are town squares. It is like Whiskey and Bourbon. All Whiskeys are Bourbons, but not all Bourbons are Whiskeys.
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
What parks have I mocked? I am unaware of any mocking that I have done.

Also Portland is known for its parks, if being in a square doesn't work for you, there are many of tree filled parks with benches that will meet your needs.
What ohiogirl81 and Linda_d said. I'm not the only one who picked up on the mockery when I posted those pictures of "town squares I have known". Those are places where my family has personally lived; I've spent a lot of time there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post

<snip> (No more to say about wife swapping!)

In the States, too, no doubt. (re: watching public hangings) Yes, in Bloomsburg actually. The Murder of Alexander W. Rea.

It's especially fun at lunch time when the city politicians wander across the street to hold court in the square. Back in the day, I spent a more than a few lunch hours listening to Mayor Lou Tullio or his chief rival, city councilman Mario Bagnoni, have some impromptu debates ... sometimes with each other


Ones with grass and trees.
Yup!


Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
"A town square is an open public space commonly found in the heart of a traditional town used for community gatherings. Other names for town square are civic center, city square, urban square, market square, public square, piazza, plaza, and town green."

Let me explain it in an easy term, a town square is a park, but not all parks are town squares. It is like Whiskey and Bourbon. All Whiskeys are Bourbons, but not all Bourbons are Whiskeys.
Let me ask you-why would an open public space commonly found in the heart of a traditional town used for community gatherings, not be a town square? Many people have posted pictures of park-like settings with people gathered about. Obama was speaking in a couple of pictures taken in Beaver, PA. Some "Occupy Chambersburg" people were speaking in another. Yes, they're used as parks (Beaver) or simply as places to sit on a bench and eat lunch (Chambersbug) when something else isn't going on there. Big whoop!
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Too much landscaping might make the place unflexible and make it difficult to accomodate festivals, events, etc. I think every type has their purpose. The more open space for events/festivals, areas with little paving for parks that are meant mostly to satisfy people's desire for greenery and peace and quiet. And you can have something in between, where you get landscaping but also design it so that it can accomodate decent amounts of people for people watching, hanging out and meeting up, without the ground being trampled to mud (maybe have the landscaping in raised beds or fenced off and the rest paved?).

This is my collegetown's town square.

Typical winter scene, they'll put in a small skating rink. Makes sense, since people don't really want to sit around there in the winter, and it would otherwise be pretty deserted. It gets decent use, this winter had people skating there every day and from the morning into the evening, you'd still have people around 9-10pm skating. Toronto's square at city hall is the same, they turn the basin with fountains into a skating rink in the winter. I think the same is true for one of the squares in Toronto's waterfront.


In the summer, there will often be events of various sorts.


Usually in the summer if there's no particular event, it's not crowded, but you'll still have a few people out and about.

You can see that since the last picture was taken, the Shoppers Drug Mart has since moved to the other side of the downtown mini-mall to make room for Beertown, which is a restaurant/pub with a patio along the square.
My city manages to have a big 4th of July festival, a Labor Day festival, and concerts in the park in a grass park.

I do like the ice skating rink; I posted a picture of my city's, which appears to have a picture of my daughter in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Sacramento has a whole series of "squares," resulting from the city's original design. Downtown is split into 320 by 340 foot blocks, and early in the city's history, some of those blocks were set aside for public use. This may have been by John Sutter Jr., who was responsible for the city's design, or instituted later. There are a whole lot of parks in Sacramento, but our square-block city parks, spaced at regular intervals through most of downtown and midtown, are a unique feature. Despite their identical shapes and sizes, they work differently in practice.

The most important one is Plaza Park, renamed Cesar Chavez Plaza in the 1990s after the labor leader who marched to Sacramento in 1966 with thousands of migrant farmers. It sits in the center of civic and office buildings, including City Hall and the central library, and a federal building that until recently was the downtown post office. A 1926 office building was converted to a hotel a few years ago, with its best rooms facing the park. Back in the 1970s Plaza Park was better known as "Wino Park" (local rock station KZAP's broadcast studio faced the park, and DJs would provide updates on what the winos were doing) and there are still street folks there, but it's one of the most active corners of the city. In the summer months (May to November) there are farmer's markets every Wednesday, which draws a big crowd from the tens of thousands of people who work downtown, and Friday nights are "Concerts in the Park," free concerts which draw big crowds. There are also special events, like wine and beer festivals, and a day-long annual music fest called the LAUNCH Festival (part of a week-long series of concerts culminating with a big day at Chavez) but LAUNCH blocks off the park and charges admission. Back in the 1920s and 1930s it was where people came to rant about politics--the IWW, Communist Party, Ham & Eggs and other movements would bring a soapbox--or itinerant street preachers to seek lost souls. Chavez was mostly devoid of politics until the Occpy movement a few years ago, which required police efforts to remove after a few weeks of protest encampment. It gets pretty quiet at night since very few people live around downtown. The park itself is tree-lined with lots of shade, partially grass/ground cover, with radial concrete paths leading to a central plaza with a 1930s Art Deco fountain. In front of the fountain is a brass statue of A.J. Stevens, former chief locomotive designer of the Southern Pacific Shops, and on the other side of the fountain is a stage, with a statue of Cesar Chavez leading UFW members to Sacramento.

My second favorite is Fremont Park, named after soldier, explorer and former US Senator John C. Fremont. Like Chavez, it's a "square" shape, with lots of trees, more grass, and a smaller central fountain, plus a few recently-added statues of giant pots with ceramic images of the region molded into the pots. There is also a kids' playground. Fremont Park gets a lot of festival use, including a summertime "Hot Lunch" concert series during the lunch hour, and evening film festivals using an inflatable screen. There are a lot of residents nearby, so it has a neighborhood park feel, and several cafes with outdoor seating face directly onto the park.

Third is Marshall Park, named for James Marshall, who discovered gold at Sutter's Mill. It's another shady, tree-lined park with a lot of grass area, and more curvilinear paths than the radial paths of the last two. In the center is a cylindrical building, the Hart Senior Center, a drop-in center for senior citizens. Marshall Park has residential buildings on three sides, mixed with a couple of offices, and one row of businesses that includes a couple of restaurants, a couple of bars and a live music venue, making this park quiet during the day but very noisy at night from the revelers across the street.

Next up is Winn Park, named after General A.M. Winn, former military governor of California. It has even more grass and trees than Fremont Park, at its center is an Art Deco concrete building that once was the nerve center for a network of fire department call boxes. Before the days of cell phones, if you saw a fire you'd pull a switch on the call box to summon the fire department. A light would light up inside this building and the operator would call the closest fire brigade to report to the call-box and investigate. It went out of use and sits vacant, but a few years back a neighborhood group cleaned it up for a one-day "open house" tour of the building. There is also a playground here. The neighborhood around it is mostly residential (aside from a sushi restaurant on one corner) so it has a very quiet, neighborhood feel. In addition to the big deciduous shade trees, the park is surrounded by a square of Mexican fan palms along the sidewalk, which don't provide much shade but give the park a distinct look.

Roosevelt Park is primarily for sports, with baseball, basketball and soccer fields. There are trees along the outer perimeter of the park, flanked on two sides by state offices and two sides by low-rise condominiums (one strictly residential two-story, one four-story with shops on its ground level.) It's pretty quiet except when games are being played. They have a farmer's market too, on Tuesday mornings.

There are several other "square" parks--Muir, Grant and Stanford, and several central city parks that are bigger or smaller than a square block. Tree shade is critical in Sacramento, where, unlike Portland, we have more sunny days than pretty much any other major city on the north American continent. Temperatures break 100 in the summers, but because it's a dry heat, sitting under the shade of a tree with a cool drink makes even those 100 degree days comfortable.
My God! Parks?
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
My God! Parks?
With grass?!?!!!? And ... trees?????!?

LMAO.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Actually I really liked the places you posted even though they weren't town squares. They were nice small towns, very well done fountains and statues in the middle of the road. So I am not sure what parks I have mocked are.








It depends on how the park is designed. Not all parks are town squares. Town squares can have park like settings, but it depends on how those settings are used to define if it is a park or a town square. It isn't really that hard, should I show you more examples the differences and similarities? There have already been a great amount posted in this thread already.
Most that have been posted in this thread are parks. The pictures I posted showed people gathered around these town squares. Even some of the urbanists are posting and discussing the park systems of their cities. Since when are parks not a gathering spot for a community?

No, I don't need any more of your patronization, thank you very much.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 04-04-2014 at 02:56 PM..
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,600,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
With grass?!?!!!? And ... trees?????!?

LMAO.
What's wrong with grass and trees?
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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You seem to be the only one arguing that parks aren't "town squares".

Even wburg has deserted you on this one!
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:06 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Maybe this from wikipedia will end this rather argument:

A town square is an open public space commonly found in the heart of a traditional town used for community gatherings. Other names for town square are civic center, city square, urban square, market square, public square, piazza, plaza, and town green.

Most town squares are hardscapes suitable for open markets, music concerts, political rallies, and other events that require firm ground. Being centrally located, town squares are usually surrounded by small shops such as bakeries, meat markets, cheese stores, and clothing stores. At their center is often a fountain, well, monument, or statue. Many of those with fountains are actually named Fountain Square.


Most not all. In England (and sometimes in New England) town public spaces that are grassy rather than hard surface are called "village green". "Town Commons" is another New England name for them. The town commons of Amherst, MA:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=amher...,11.75,,0,8.07

From the Kinks. Unclear if they're being ironic, they're from a big city (London):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bz8TEinQD24


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-hwHJgpeHw
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,600,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You seem to be the only one arguing that parks aren't "town squares".

Even wburg has deserted you on this one!
First, to be a town square, the park has to be centrally located within the town, then the park needs to be centered around open space for people to gather.

This is a park.


This is a town square.


and this is it being used on a movie night.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:13 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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as for the Bloomsburg, there doesn't look there's much usable public space, hard or grass from this picture, it's mostly just fountain in the middle of the intersection. Looks like there's more off on the edge of the photo, but it's not obvious at first glance:

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3213/5...055fd45cd5.jpg
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