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©John R. Turner

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Out and About with Word and Image of Vermont

City Hall Park
A few years ago, when it was decided that we needed a kind of little park in front of the City Hall in Montpelier -- mainly, I think, to dissuade teenagers from sitting on the central steps of the building and frightening old people who needed to go in and use the bathrooms -- there
was a mixup during the construction which set off a
bit of a hassle. The plans called for the names of the
commercial sponsors of the project to be shown some-
where off to the side. But the contractor got the wrong
message and carved the names right into the back
wall of the park. Well, you can imagine when people
saw them there considerable civic distress ensued.
Whatever people want in other parts of the country,
nobody in Montpelier wants the City Hall to be a
commercial. Something had to be done. At first there
was talk of tearning down the whole wall. But that
seemed excessive. So, finally, someone came up the
idea of placing granite slabs over the names and then
setting flower boxes in front of the slabs. That’s what
was done. Everybody knows that now, but I can imagine that in forty or fifty years, when maintenance needs to be done on the wall, no one will remember why the slabs are there. When they’re taken off, there will be the pristine engravings. And some poor high school kid will be assigned the research project of finding out how they came to be there, that is, if things are still done then like they are now. And we can hope that in Montpelier, they will be.