Benches in Lafayette Park

Why are all the benches on the periphery and none inside the greenspace of the park? Why do they all face busy streets?

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3 thoughts on “Benches in Lafayette Park

  1. I think because many of the benches are there as people wait for the bus (specifically on Lafayette Street) It’s also a hot park to socialize in while you are coming back from a small trip downtown. Another idea, that park is far too loud to do a quiet type of interior conversation, and is much better for people watching as they are walking into the downtown.

    I’m not a big user of that particular park – Forest River is my beat – another park with benches only on the periphery – but plenty of picnic tables in the center. Which leads me to the thought that maybe benches are typically placed on the periphery of a park and not it’s interior?

    It would be interesting to do a survey of other Salem parks and see what the consensus of benches on the exterior/interior is.

    • Hi Beth,

      Thank you for your comment – these are great observations! It is very true that the benches help in waiting for the bus. And it is a great idea to look at bench placement at other parks – I also love Forest River and I love sitting on the benches to look at the water, the boats – it is very peaceful. Sitting on the Lafayette benches is a different experience. In Forest River, the center has the picnic tables like you observed, and also the playground. The interesting thing in Lafayette Park is that there really isn’t anything in the center – the thing is, there used to be benches – see this link: http://www.wickedlocal.com/salem/news/x1967340612?photo=0#axzz2BjhsDjv7

      I am unsure why they were removed; perhaps benches there are not the best thing due to the high traffic. I think that Washington street could better serve the neighborhood if it was only one way and made more narrow to provide one “quite” side to the park. I have some interesting comments from park users of what this space could be – and I will post them soon. They were collected in the “Framing Lafayette Park” Action Project – https://salempublicspaceproject.com/2012/10/27/frames-are-up-time-to-re-imagine-the-park/ Check back soon!

      • Great! Like I said, I walk by the park quite a lot, so I’m always interested in new changes. The new paving, sidewalks, and light cycle have already added a touch more class to the park.

        -Beth

        PS The frames are cute, I liked them a lot.

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