By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Landscape designers plan on presenting their drawings of a redesigned French Square to the Town Council at a future date but last Thursday night a presentation was made on what they will see.
The plans presented by Clara Batchelor of CBA Architects show three different concepts. Also working on the plans was Arthur Leventis of Woodward and Curran, and Preston Holleman, project manager with CBA.
Option 1 is a semi-circle design shows a closure of a little street running alongside the old pharmacy. In all three plans that little street is closed down but Hagman Road and the rest are open.
“The materials used are indicative of a seaside town,” Batchelor said of the use of cement, granite and brick. There are sitting walls and the Woodside Avenue entrance would be dressed up ornamental grass. She noted that the honey locust trees now in French Square will remain, as well as the flag pole, monument and track left from the narrow gauge railway depot.
“The designs all show a gathering place,” Batchelor said. “We want to turn it into a gathering place for events like the three lighting and Halloween.”
Batchelor noted that all three schematics use the same materials and take into consideration the farmer’s market. Each scheme also showed tables and chairs in the area, as well as lighting that will include electrical outlets in the base. Sidewalks will be made of stamped cement.
“We need to look at the budget and figure to determine the materials to be used,” said Town Manager/Police Chief Terence Delehanty.
He added that the old granite curbing from the construction work on Winthrop Shore Drive is available for use at no charge.
Option 2 is more of a circular design, again with sitting walls. Two granite walls curve around the area along with trees, areas to hang out and space to enjoy the outdoors. Many people at the meeting appeared to like this design.
Option 3 is an amphitheater-themed design with smaller sitting walls.
Minor details of how materials are used to vary from scheme to scheme. It was suggested tithe the alleyway from Hagman Road to Woodside Avenue be made of brick to blend with Frenchmen’s Square.
“We’d like to make (the area) more attractive,” said Batchelor.
The next step is for the council to pick one of the designs.