Points on the Square (Part II)


(Second in a series of three)

Continuing our discussion from before (Part I) on what features would make a successful square on East Campus, we have three more points to add:

  • Supply a variety of benches and umbrella-equipped tables. The square should accommodate all recreational uses, from sunbathers to scriptwriters. We have already written a post on benches that invite peculiar uses, and these types of benches should be mixed in with tables for people with more pressing work to do. Benches should suit all types of uses including face-to-face orientations.
  • Electrify and connect. Quite of a few of the aforementioned sunbathers on McKeldin Mall actually bring their laptops with them, squinting through the bright sunshine glare on their computer screens. Thus, tables located near electrical outlets will enable students to stay in the square for extended periods of time. Not only does their mere presence reduce crime, but gives the impression to passersby that the square is actually a pleasant place to be. Needless to say, the area should be doused in wifi.
  • Build and lease small kiosks. Bryant Park’s commercial concessions enhance experience of the park. One should be able to purchase a small drink or perhaps a sandwich or hotdog at a kiosk in the square, making it more amenable to extended stays. There are plenty of street-vendors in neighboring Langley Park, and a few of them would jump at the opportunity for a kiosk lease. The kiosks, though, must be placed so they don’t obstruct the view of the fountain from the streets that will define the square. Permanent kiosks should not be confused with unsightly street vendor trailers; they can actually look quite stylish like the permanent flower kiosk in Bryant Park (below) or the stationary kiosks in Bethesda (top).

What comforts do you look for in a park?

One thought on “Points on the Square (Part II)”

  1. As one of the squinters, I think tables and perhaps plugs for laptop use is a good idea. Hopefully the area would be included in the UMD network, or a free network open to the public.

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