9 thoughts on “Take the Bridge Square straw poll

  1. Bridge Square is loved and used by thousands each year!
    Ask a native Townie like me, who will say, “Let’s leave it alone, and not make our town look like every other small town!” Northfield always decides to hire another out-of-town consultant, and how they like to make changes!
    I am concerned as I do not want the Civil War Monument moved, or Jake’s fountain, a gift from Schjeldahl! Also, I want the beautiful Red Maple tree, which I planted years ago, to remain where it is. It is a perfect tree.
    How fortunate I have been to enjoy our Bridge Square for eighty years!
    Helen Albers

  2. Hey Helen, glad to have a townie chiming in here. Did you also complete the straw poll?

    You don’t have to worry about John Slack making changes to Bridge Square. Whatever ideas he comes up with won’t go far without citizen support and the City Council’s backing. And remember, this is only conceptual planning. There hasn’t been any money allocated for implementation of any changes.

    1. Can you tell us the story of how it happened that you were involved in planting that lovely Red Maple tree?

    2. Can you say more about your rationale for not wanting the Civil War monument moved? Of the informal comments I’ve heard around town so far, there seems to be an even split on that, as some people think it would be better to move it to Veteran’s Park so as to free up more space for events on Bridge Square.

  3. Hi Griff,
    Believe I am a regular “Johnny Appleseed.”
    Being a tree-lover, I plant them about town. When my husband Lowell died, I planted an English Columnar Oak in the UCC garden as a memorial.
    Then, I planted two Red Maple trees along the Central Park
    sidewalk, followed by a beautiful Red Maple tree on south side of our Middle School (Now Weitz Center,) which has
    inspired our schools to do more plantings.
    To beautify Bridge Square, I decided to plant the very
    beautiful Red Maple, which is now shining brightly with Christmas lights for all to enjoy.

    My rationale for not moving our Civil War monument is any town center with any historical sense would never move the Civil War monument. It is traditional for Civil War monuments to be in any town Center Square in America, and it would be disrespectful to move the monument.

    In addition, I read recently The Role of Memorials.
    Civil War monuments are permanent reminders in bronze and stone of the steep price our nation has paid for the preservation of its security and freedoms. They have an
    ability to transcend time, outlasting all with a “living connection” to honor and remind us of the people and events that have helped shape our common history. We must revere their history.

  4. Helen, I HAVE to get a photo of you next to that tree! Will you be at the Open House tonight or at Winter Walk on Thursday night?

  5. As for the Civil War monument, can you say more why you think moving it would be disrespectful? It’s not a grave site — I know how you feel about that!

    I’m thinking that Veterans Park is a place where people would be more likely to view the monument with reverence than Bridge Square where it’s more likely experienced as either a place to sit, a means to stand up higher to get a better view of a performance, or to brag about which local college football team beat the other by rotating the eagle that sits on top of it.

  6. I feel strongly that moving would diminish the visibility of our monument as well as the cause it commemorates. Our Civil War veterans were honored by our townspeople who dedicated this monument to them for their wartime sacrifice. My husband studied the Civil War so we visited many battlefields, and observed that Civil War monuments were placed in the town squares, where people were reminded of the great tragedy.

    Our Albers’ clan honors our great grandfather, Henry Albers, who fought in Sherman’s March. This monument honors our heroes, and must remain where it is visible in Bridge Square. Townspeople and visitors may share in the tragedy-Northfield history. Let’s remember this history and not move our monument. Our beautiful Veteran’s Memorial Park has become a sacred place, and has a great soldier sculpture to honor soldiers of a later era.

    (Have you ever noticed that our young people, who congregate in Bridge Square, have never damaged the monument?) Respect.

    Winter Walk? Depends on the weather! I did take a good photo of my Maple this summer. Will keep you posted. Thanks for your interest, Griff.

  7. Hey Griff and Helen:

    I just wanted to re-enforce what Griff stated. There is no threat to the monument currently or do I think there will be. I will do some more digging on the monument itself, but I know it was built in the 1920s and it is listed in the downtown National Register nomination forms for the National Register for Historic Places.

    On a personal note, I love the monument and think it can be incorporated into any new design of the Square.

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