Boston Square made the news the other day — the restaurant reviewer thought the neighborhood a little iffy. Well it’s not to the people who love it. Ask Bob Vander Lugt in his protest against a restaurant review of 7 Mares that found the neighborhood “gasping for breath.” As Vander Lugt owns Modern Hardware, a store in business for 89 years (and Standard Lumber across the street, we might add), that was totally mistaken, an affront.
It does get me thinking, though.
I’ve lived by the neighborhood long enough to watch some favorite businesses leave: Kingma’s, the meat counter at Boston Foods, and of course breakfast at the Road House.
Now, Kalamazoo is a path through an old Dutch neighborhood, from its headwaters on Hall down to the Alger intersection at the tracks. Vander Lugt is right, there are some good civic bones here, a structure worthy of revitalization. The City and MSU have both conducted studies in the Boston Square neighborhood and have given a roadmap for potential development. Some of the ideas are certainly worth following up — for instance, adding in more mixed use housing and perhaps reimagining the parking lot in the center of the Fuller-Adams-Kalamazoo triangle as more of a public square.
This is a neighborhood worth the dreaming.