'The Row' Pedestrian Allee

A tree-lined, linear civic space should be considered on the north side of Lebanon Street extending from the west side of the Hopkins Center easterly to Crosby Street. This linear 'town square' would take advantage of the existing significant setback (approximately 45-50 feet) between the north curb of Lebanon Street and the existing face of the Spaulding Auditorium by providing a combination of hard and soft landscaping with an ideal southern exposure. For the purpose of discussion, this proposed public space is referred to as 'the Row' to reflect its potential as a pedestrian, tree-lined allee. Just as the Green on West Wheelock is both a defining symbol and organizing element for the College, the Row, in a more modest fashion, can serve a similar symbolic and functional purpose for the Downtown (figures 11 through 13).

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In particular, the Row addresses two perceived needs identified for the Downtown. The first is to provide more public outdoor space. The second need is to give the Downtown a more vibrant focus - a high-energy scene that can function day and night as a destination. Given its proximity to the Hop, the Row has the potential to be a place where the youthful intensity of student culture mixes with the eclectic bustle of a healthy downtown. It also can help to create a public and visitor awareness of the College as a 'place' that combines excellence and tradition with the excitement of contemporary culture and the future (similar to the role that Brattle Street and Harvard Square have in defining the experience of Harvard University). Its location at the east gateway to the Downtown further reinforces its potential impact.

In conjunction with future additions to the Hopkins Center and Hood Museum fronting the north side of Lebanon Street, the Row can accommodate spill-out activities such as outdoor dining, café terraces, newspaper stands, sidewalk sales, vending carts and community events such as festivals, open-air film screenings, barbeques or charity drives. This type of public space will also naturally attract informal activity such as people-watching, street music and street performers.