On Thursday night, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Ward 5 Alderman Courtney O’Keefe invited Somerville residents to celebrate as they unveiled the new sign for Magoun Square.
O’Keefe said the reinstallation of the sign, which was temporarily removed for renovations, marks not only the square, but also serves as a commitment to making Magoun Square another great place in Somerville.
“You wouldn’t think a simple sign would mean much,” O’Keefe said of the sign, which is located at the intersection of Broadway and Medford Streets on the CVS plaza. “But us ‘Gouners want you to know that you are here.”
Curtatone spoke about Somerville’s desire to see Magoun Square flourish once again. People and businesses have already taken notice of Magoun Square, he said. The sign serves to complete the process and unify the area with the rest of the city.
“We want all our neighborhood squares to be vibrant, successful places for small businesses,” he said. “Bringing the back the sign marks it as a destination and not a cut through area.”
Curtatone said the reinstallation of the sign also serves as the forefront of a greater goal to re-imagine the area through the city’s Somerville by Design program. Future plans for Magoun Square aim to encourage economic development, expand daytime populations and improve pedestrian access in preparation for the Green Line extension, which is scheduled to reach the area in 2019.
O’Keefe said that while there are future goals and visions, the square has already gone through many positive changes. She said new light fixtures, paintings and outdoor aesthetics have recently been added, and that already businesses are recognizing that Magoun Square is the new best place to set up shop.
“In the past two years we have filled 50 percent of the empty store fronts,” she said. She added that the first brick and mortar restaurant from Pennypacker’s—this year’s winner of the Food Truck Throwdown—is scheduled to open in the square this summer, along with King of Wings, a restaurant serving new and traditional American cuisine.
Curtatone said he believes Magoun Square has the potential to become one of Somerville’s next hot spots. He said the city is committed to making the square stand out and become another great place to live, work, play and raise a family.
“I have a belief in all our squares, they’re all so unique,” Curtatone said. “That’s what makes Somerville such a great city: The neighborhoods are the necklace and the squares are the charms.”
Samantha Laine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.