I Dream of Kesey Square

In the Pacific Northwest’s damp, dark days of winter, it’s hard to imagine any beckoning outdoors spaces, like say the twinkling age-old Christmas markets of Germany. But we do have a pocket of possibility right in the heart of the city: Kesey Square. Rather than look at its brick shell as some unintended consequence of ad-hoc city planning — where some local developers want to plop a building — we ask you to dream of the possibilities. 

EW found inspiration for public spaces in New York City’s Paley Park and the beloved High Line greenway, as well as the casual charm of beer gardens around the world.

Critics often cite Kesey Square’s size as problematic, yet at 4,400 square feet, it’s larger than Paley Park (4,200 square feet), a pocket park considered one of the best urban public spaces in the U.S. And the narrow High Line park was built on a defunct portion of railroad, yet it was masterfully designed to provide comfortable public seating in tight, awkward spaces. 

Now it’s your turn: Send your ideas to editor@eugeneweekly.com with “I Dream of Kesey Square” in the subject line. 

From top to bottom: Paley Park is nearly identical in size to Kesey square —  4,200 square feet and 4,400 square feet respectively. High Line Greenway. A beer garden in Munich.

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