At a public meeting held last week at Market Avenue Wine Bar, planners showed off designs for the future Market Square Park, an Ohio City park slated to receive a $1.5 million makeover this year from the city.
“We hope the new Market Square Park will become the de facto outdoor dining room for the West Side Market,” says Ben Trimble, Program Manager with the Ohio City Near West Development Corporation (OCNW). Trimble says the park, located at the corner of Lorain and West 25th, will complement the redevelopment taking place elsewhere in the area.
Plans for revamping the park, which was completed in 1979, date back to at least 2004. OCNW selected it as a candidate for overhaul because of its dated design, lack of connection to the commercial district, and a perception that the park is unsafe.
The park, which was the original site for the West Side Market before the current building was constructed in 1912, has been a focus area for OCNW. The nonprofit helps to coordinate Open Air in Market Square, an outdoor bazaar that takes place on Saturdays throughout the summer, as well as other park programs.
When construction wraps up this fall, Trimble says the park will have “harvest tables” with bench seating, rows of new trees, public artwork with an “orchard ladder” theme defining the park’s entranceway, attractive brick pavers, and an elevated stage that will be used for live music, outdoor movies, and other public performances.
Attractive new bus shelters will also be installed outside of Market Square Park. Parkworks and Cleveland Public Art, two nonprofit groups that worked on the park’s redesign, say the bus shelters will be well-used. The Lorain and West 25th intersection has the second highest use of any transit waiting area in the city, second only to Public Square.