Imagine Tacoma – Square Me Up

As we enter the long dark wet days of winter, reflect on the warmth of the sunshine, the smell of the flowers, and the taste of the food that is the Tacoma Farmer’s Market. So imagine what a squared-up Pierce Transit Square could offer for our 09’s enjoyment:

End of the Shrub Era:
The original design for the Square employed the previously IT referenced ‘clutter concept’ (jamming a space with lots of stuff makes it look active and alive so you won’t feel that you are all alone when you are all alone). It is now time to remove the shrub planters and increase the expanse of grass – thus allowing more vendors and a better defined central circulation space to hold proper events (and give more room for bocce!).

Relocate the Performance End:
Why hide the noon-time performers in the shade and make the spectators have to squint into the sun? How about locating the performance focus at the North end (towards the Theatre on the Square) and free-up some more vendor space along the shady side of ye olde Woolworths? Maybe even incorporate the use of the Theatre’s balcony for various programs? The existing fountain is now ideally located as a sitting venue and as a foreground feature to the stage (rather than looking into the backside of the food court).

Seasonal Pavilion:
And with a clutter-free space, maybe a seasonal structure can be designed and fabricated to foster more events as well as providing additional ‘cover’ during the occasional summer inclement weather.

So if the rain, and the rain, and the rain gets you blue, look forward to the hope and promise of summer and the return of the Tacoma Farmer’s Market in a clutter-free and improved functional space (besides we already have one dysfunctional public ‘square’ in Downtown Tacoma – do we really need two?).

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Nice idea. We should do it.

January 8, 2009 at 1:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Can I have the shrubs?  ;)

January 8, 2009 at 3:13 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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If you look at the windows across the street where they make playground toys, you’ll see that they have plans in the window to makeover the square and add a playground and other things there… or at least there used to be plans in the windows there, I haven’t looked in a while.

January 8, 2009 at 3:44 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Get rid of the big concrete \ too. we don’t need a sidewalk through the grass. but yeah. those shrubs have got to go!

January 8, 2009 at 3:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Great idea.  It’d be easy and inexpensive too.

January 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Great ideas David!

I second the Pavilion concept. A fully or partially enclosed structure – ala Olympia Farmers Market – would be awesome. Then Tacoma could have a year round or at least extended Farmers Market season <span class=“caps”>AND</span> it could also be used for community events like First Night… just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Adding infrastructure (stalls and electricity) could also enhance public markets and events. I’ve heard a trend coming out of Asia is for night markets, where food vendors and artisans set up booths. <span class=“caps”>THAT</span> would be awesome!

And yes, the shrubbery must go. It makes no sense being there. (Thanks David, now I have that Monty Python line stuck in my head!)

January 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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John Toler

I agree but talking the city into it is a whole different ball game. advocates GO ……..

January 8, 2009 at 5:28 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Thorax O'Tool

Finally! I can get my hands on a Shrubbery so I may pass!

Now, why on earth don’t we have a citizen’s advocacy group for a more human-friendly downtown? If we had even half the people on 133 actually being active, maybe we could get the city to listen. Add in David’s cool renderings, we may actually have a ghost of a chance.

January 9, 2009 at 12:30 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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slight thread drift…

Last week was the first time in quite a while that I needed to purchase bus tickets.  I parked up on Broadway to walk to the bus shop on Commerce.  I was shocked by the condition of the pathway down to the transit center…none of the water was flowing, the lights had been turned off, the plants looked pathetic and litter was everywhere.

Why are improvements made and then never maintained?  Is it PT’s responsibility to maintain the area?  The city’s?  I would be more than willing to gather a group of kids that I work with to do a litter patrol, but, that doesn’t seem feasible.  For some reason I think if a bunch of kids started hopping the glass partitions, there might be some problems.  And then there is the issue of the fountains, the lights and the foliage.  Bottom line…it looks awful and I feel disgusted its deterioration.

January 9, 2009 at 10:29 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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David Boe

Mary @ 9:  Drift over and check-out a previous IT post on the Transit Center:

Especially the ‘Jabba the Hut’ fountain reference.

January 9, 2009 at 11:19 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Thanks, David.  I ventured over and read that post.  I guess I just don’t understand why precious money is spent on projects that are never going to be maintained.  Especially when it is as simple as picking up garbage or turning on the water.  An old friend of mine used to say, “Every morning a true lady puts on a coat of mascara and some fresh lipstick before she leaves the house for the day.”  That area needs a trip to the Clinique counter!

January 9, 2009 at 12:00 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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