Thoughts on plazas

Naming a plaza or park after a street

When a plaza or park is named after a street. Are all parks and plazas on that same street prohibited from using that name?

I lived close Giddings Plaza in Lincoln Square. The plaza used to be named Kempf Plaza. At some point, it became known as Giddings Plaza.

With Chicago’s street grid, we get these wonderful things where street holds the same name miles and miles away. I got thinking about all this plaza naming when the Metaspiel Substack wrote about Giddings Street in Chicago. It made me immediately look up to see where on Giddings he was referring to. And wow, it’s 4.6 miles west of Giddings Plaza. So far away, and yet there is Giddings Street. Sitting at the same north-south coordinates. I love Chicago grid.

My luck of living and working by great plazas

In doing a brief lookup of the history of Giddings Plaza (to see when it got that name), I came across a 2014 Streetsblog post, “Kempf Plaza has all the right ingredients for a great public space“.

This made me realize I’ve been very lucky to have lived and worked by two great public spaces. Giddings Plaza for 13 years, and 18 years of working Tribune Tower next to Pioneer Court.

Someday I’ll write more about my plaza experiences. Plazas are one of those wonderful places to be. It’s where you can enjoy life. Everyone loves a good plaza.

Do suburbs have great plazas?

For the past four years I’ve lived in a western suburb of Chicago. If only the suburb lands had more great public spaces like these. Maybe they do. I’ll have to keep my eyes open to seeing great public spaces in the burbs.

Doing a quick Google search for: “Glen Ellyn” plaza yields non-public plazas like Crowne Plaza, Trader Joe’s Plaza, Market Plaza (the Jewel parking lot). All these plaza results are for parking lots.

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