Well, it’s July again. Definitely summer, no avoiding that anymore. Hot and sticky. Recently, I took refuge from the heat at Cronin Park.
You’ve never been to Cronin Park? I guess I’m not that surprised. It turns out that Cronin Park wasn’t even on Google maps until I added it. Brightkite doesn’t know where it is. Cambridge’s department of Public Works doesn’t list it on their parks page either. Why does Cronin Park get such short shrift?
Perhaps it’s because Cronin Park isn’t much bigger than a small house or large apartment. I count three trees in Cronin Park. There are no benches in Cronin Park, and no water fountains. You can’t let your dog run off-leash in Cronin Park. I suppose you could lie on the grass, but probably only in a long row, not side-by side. I’m pretty sure that if I set up a picnic in Cronin Park, I’d be asked to move along.
I often park next to Cronin Park, but seldom take the time to appreciate it. You can see my car in this satellite pic, not so far from where it’s really parked right this moment.
So what’s so great about Cronin Park? Honestly, not too much, but it’s there and it has a name, and James P. Cronin was somebody’s son, maybe somebody’s father too. It seems a shame that his park is a glorified traffic island. Even the meager bench or two that it could hold would transform Cronin Park into a place worthy of being mapped, a place where you might contrive to meet or hang out. And that, for my tax dollars, would be a better use of the space.
but to add a bench you would have to take away a tree or two, and then you’d lose the visual greenspace, the shade, the environmental benefits, etc. Why can’t it simply be an atoll with three trees in a concrete ocean?
I certainly never meant to replace trees with seating. It seems to me you could fit at least twice the trees just on the Western ave side if you put them in the grassy area or even on the red brick area. There are trees right up to the curb on all the adjacent streets, why not on this island? Why settle for three trees in a knot when you could have a grove of ten trees that you could sit amongst, in the shade? Or maybe just plant a double row along the hypotenuse and leave the triangle grassy but shielded from the traffic of Western ave?
Do you think this is him?
Good detective work, LKB! I’m guessing the second one is more likely, since I don’t think they name stuff after living people. Too bad there’s not more info on who Cronin was and what he did to deserve a plaque on a rock in a park.
James P. Cronin was my great-uncle. He was in WWII and he died from injuries sustained in France at the battle of Normandy and or Omaha. He was my grandmother’s brother. The park has been there for years and has never been a proper memorial, but the City of Cambridge did not really care. It was recently done over and is still not a fitting monument to my uncle. They relegated his name to the sidewalk and instituted a grand monument to “The Coast” which I have never even heard of. The family of James P Cronin was upset by the lack of respect given to him in regards to this park by the City of Cambridge. I have no doubt they would have changed the name of the park if they could have gotten away with it.
A timely comment, thank you for speaking up. I was just at the new Cronin Park yesterday and am working on a post about it.
Why not close the short block of Pleasant Street that adjoins this park? The street does not appear to serve any purpose, and removing it would allow expanding the park to a reasonable size. Look what they’ve done a few blocks away in Lafayette Square.
Check out Taylor Park, and be sure to click on the image to see the pic:
LKB, that’s the perfect place for my 4th of July picnic! Do you have a key??
Nope – sorry I didn’t get this until this late! And no, don’t have a key – wish I did! Bet you could just step over it.