Harvard Square is a visual wonder – the streets are alive with students, outdoor seating abounds, the curving streets are picturesque, terminated streets give a feeling of being in grand outdoor rooms, and the buildings are either turn-of-the-century or built with quality brick and stone. As you can see in the plan, many of the streets are short, organic and end with buildings. This goes a long, long way in giving the area a strong sense of identity, as well as security and intimacy. In fact, compared to the other areas we visited, it’s almost a must in creating a strong sense of place.
However, most of who you see on the streets are students or bourgeois, and many of the long-time tenants lamented about how the retail chains were turning the place into a shopping mall. Where were they going? That’ll be covered in the next few blogs.