Tag Archives: Bridge Square

Let’s put some game tables in downtown Northfield

game tables in NYC DSC01661 DSC01735
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I was struck by the popularity of game tables in New York City’s parks when I visited there last week. People gather around the tables to watch some of the games, too. Others use the tables as a place to meet and eat. The benches on either side of the tables have backs on them, making them more comfortable for sitting than picnic tables.

I’d like to see the Streetscape Task Force spend some of its remaining money to put game tables with benches in downtown along River Walk, the Sesqui Plaza, and maybe Bridge Square.

The penis has been saved and is being reinstalled on Bridge Square

Carleton College - penis pavers 2 Carleton College - penis pavers 3 Carleton College - penis pavers 1 
Back in 2008, Carleton College installed cement sidewalk pavers at the corner of 2nd and Division.  The phallus design soon became controversial and plans to remove it were met with a ‘Save the Penis’ campaign that ultimately failed.

Bridge Square excavationThe Northfield Arts and Culture Commission, together with the Northfield Historical Society and the Downtown Streetscape Task Force, have pooled their public art monies to fund the reinstallation of the phallus design on a section of Bridge Square.

Yesterday, workers began excavation.  The bulbous shape of the excavated area will be reshaped into a phallus, designed by members of the Old Sculptors Project, the complementary group to the Young Sculptors Project that has installed a sculpture in front of the Northfield Library.

"We felt it was important to save a piece of Northfield history and to have it stick out right outside our door," said Hayes ‘Gabby’ Scriver,  Northfield Historical Society board member. 

"There was stiff opposition to the project for a while," wrote Ava Gina, Chair of the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission in an email to Locally Grown. "We went to great lengths to make our case. It was hard. In the end, we believed strongly that inserting this design into the most pubic [sic] space of Northfield was in the best interest of all."

Riverwalk Market Fair: new poster, new blogsite, new location

Riverwalk Market Fair 2012 poster Riverwalk Market Fair on Bridge Square Riverwalk Market Fair blogsite
Yesterday was the opening Saturday for Riverwalk Market Fair.  They’ve got a cool new poster, a new website with a hidden blog called ‘news,’ and a new location: they’re no longer on Riverwalk. 

All the artists’ booths are now on Bridge Square instead of Riverwalk.  Sesquicentennial Plaza and the adjacent parking lot remains the location for the food vendors/farmers’ market, although they had to squeeze onto the street surrounding Bridge Square yesterday because of the St. Olaf alum weekend beer tent.

It’s a more compact arrangement that centralizes the foot traffic and evidently is waaaaaaaay easier/faster for vendor-setup.  I like it. Some panoramic photos:

Riverwalk Market Fair on Bridge Square Riverwalk Market Fair on Bridge Square Riverwalk Market Fair on Bridge Square

Is wading in the Sheldahl anniversary fountain on Bridge Square officially sanctioned?

DSC07145I noticed workers cleaning out the Sheldahl anniversary fountain on Bridge Square this morning.  (Yes, it’ll be ready for today’s 105+ heat index.)

It reminded me that Northfielder Brenton Balvin tweeted this question a couple of weeks ago:

#northfield friends, quick poll: is it ok for kids to wade / walk in downtown fountain?

I replied with an emphatic YES but Northfield.org board chair Nate White tweeted:

i’d say not okay on a typical day but I certainly wouldn’t fault anybody for taking a dip today!

Wading in the Sheldahl anniversary fountain on Bridge SquareI’ve never known it to NOT be okay for anyone to wade in the fountain, kids or adults.  I’ve taken more than a few photos of kids wading there, eg, this photo from my Taste of Northfield 2010 album.

But maybe TPTB just look the other way when it happens.

Is there any question on what Ray "Jake" Jacobson would say about folks wading in one of his public fountains?

The heart of downtown, now streaming live 24/7

KYMN Radio and the Northfield Historical Society announced today via their respective blogs (here and here) that a webcam would now be streaming live video from Bridge Square.  KYMN’s Tim Freeland and NHS’s Hayes Scriven are the geniuses behind this.

You may remember that Tim Freeland and Adam Gurno did a proof of concept last year with the time-lapse video of the December snowstorm which was picked up by MPR. (Nice work, everyone. Have some Google juice.)

However, the moniker “KYMN-NHS-Cam” is kind of lame. How about SquareStream? RiverStream? Should we have a “name-the-camera” contest here on LoGro? Continue reading The heart of downtown, now streaming live 24/7

The grass on Bridge Square: still lousy after all these years

A downtown business owner grumbled to me this week about the condition of the grass on Bridge Square, wondering why, if the park is the crown jewel of downtown, the grass in such bad shape.

grass on Bridge Square grass on Bridge Square grass on Bridge Square

grass on Bridge Square grass on Bridge Square grass on Bridge Square
I took these photos last night. Yep, it’s pretty bad in many spots.

Downtown Northfield Streetscape Framework PlanThe condition of the grass is mentioned twice in the Downtown Streetscape Framework Plan, created back in 2006:

P. 71: “Seed grass and repair lawn in Bridge Square.”

P. 73: “Bridge Square would have grass in the bald spots.”

I know, the grass takes a beating because the park is so popular and so many community events are held there.  And there are probably issues with fertilizer and weed killer, both human and environmental.

With that in mind, is there anything that can be done that would also be cost-effective?  And if so, what time of year would be best to do it?