Market Square Park

Designers: LAND Studio, Mark Moskovitz, City Architecture | City: Cleveland, OH | Project Type: public market, cultural center
Date Visited: 09.19.12, 09.22.12

Location: West 25th Street and Lorain Ave., Cleveland, OH, 44113
Cost: $1.5 million renovation
Official Opening Date: June 2, 2012

In celebration of Westside Market’s 100th anniversary, Market Square Park was recently renovated and reopened to the public to kickoff the centennial. The original site for the market, Market Square Park has been a historically significant landmark and transit hub for the locals who grew up in the area. However, as time and lack of maintenance took its toll, Market Square Park became a dirty eyesore. Now, in large part thanks to the money contributed for the centennial celebration of Westside Market, Market Square Park has since transformed into a social hub of activity.

Featuring sculpture, a mural, unique and varied seating, event pavilion, as well as a mobile Cleveland Public Library BookBox, Market Square Park has successfully returned to its original purpose of serving as a community hub.

I don’t know what Market Square Park looked like before the renovation, but according to these Yelp reviews, the change has been tremendous. The commissioned gateway sculpture pieces–inspired by the unique orchard ladders found throughout the region’s fruit farms–by artist Mark Moskovitz usher visitors into the space with sweeping red arcs. What I love about the park is the diversity of fun seating. Rather than using standard site furniture, the designers used a variety of seating options–from picnic benches to green, moveable chairs–to catch the eye of passerby’s.

I went there on two separate times: mid-morning Wednesday and a late afternoon on Saturday. Going on two separate occasions helped me see how the space adapts to various levels of people traffic. On Wednesdays, the plaza is fairly quiet and only occupied by a few market-goers and transit riders waiting for their bus. Saturdays in the summer, however, hold a busy outdoor market with live music that attracts large crowds. The park worked well in both scenarios; though small, the park didn’t feel overcrowded on the Saturday, nor did it seem desolate and uninviting on the Wednesday morning.

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