If you missed Mike Puma’s coverage on Larkin Square a few weeks ago, then you would never know what the heck is featured in this photo. It’s one thing to read about what’s going on over in that part of town, and it’s another thing to see it in person. When I first saw the raised picnic shelter (photo) from afar, I couldn’t help but light up a smile. The juxtaposition of the shelter (still under construction) and the looming historic buildings is brilliant. As a fresh coat of paint is applied to 701 Seneca, the whimsical nature of the district is mushrooming in a way that will draw the creative types en masse.
It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago this area was a hopeless wreck. I spoke to the owner of a neighboring building while taking in the sights yesterday and he told me that when he made the purchase (ten years ago) his friends told him he was crazy. “Now look at it,” he said as he pointed to the ‘U’ Building and the Schaefer Building. In a relatively short period of time the property owner has seen Larkinville sprout up around him. As building after building is brought back to life, plans move forward to create a vibrant destination unlike anything else in the city. Every structure is analyzed for maximum potential. The plan calls for different types of foods, and markets and living accommodations. Through creative modes of transportation, historic preservation, thoughtful public spaces, bike and pedestrian-friendly streets, community centers and markets and planned entertainment, The Larkin District is painting an exciting picture of what the future of our city will look like.
The only thing that’s missing is a Larkin Street Trolley to take people from The Larkin District to Canalside and vice versa.