The New Public Square Takes Shape

IMG_1091When I was in Cleveland yesterday, I got a bird’s-eye view of the ongoing work on Public Square.  By all accounts, it’s on track to be completed in time for the Republican Convention in Cleveland in July.

The new Public Square is an obvious improvement over old Public Square, which was divided into quadrants by heavily trafficked streets and served as a kind of way station for aggressive panhandlers.  It wasn’t exactly a welcoming venue.  The new Public Square has more green space — although not quite as much as I would have expected — and will have a restaurant in the building at the left corner of the photo above, a fountain area, and a concert venue on the boomerang-shaped grassy area to the right.  There’s still a road smack dab through the middle, but it’s now going to be limited to buses.

It looks like it will be a fine place for the pro-Trump forces and the anti-Trump forces to clash come July.   Hey, they don’t call it Public Square for nothing!  The big test, though, will come when the conventioneers leave.  Will Clevelanders adopt Public Square like Columbusites have adopted the Columbus Commons, or will it once again become a kind of no man’s land where people fear to tread?  Only time will tell.

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