The 2018 Princeton Parklet has opened.
Returning to its original location in front of Small World Coffee on Witherspoon Street in Princeton, the Arts Council of Princeton had a successful launch of its third parklet on Saturday, June 9.
Parklets are essentially public seating venues that use curbside parking spaces as its base of operation. Each parklet has a distinct design based off of what the host town or city deems necessary. The Princeton Parklets have always been works of interactive art.
Debuting in 2015, outside of Small World Coffee, the first Princeton Parklet came about when Princeton mayor, Liz Lempert, and Arts Council of Princeton Director, Maria Evans collaborated to make a free and open public space out of unused parking spaces.
The first parklet featured couches sculpted from elm wood, tree stump planters and stools, hanging rocking chairs as well as hanging pods to sit in. Each year the parklets are open from June to around mid-November.
Due to a lack of funding, there was no parklet in 2016, while last year’s parklet was installed in front of jaZams in Palmer Square. The 2017 parklet was an interactive ‘energy playground,’ which brought out many children.
“After the great experience we had last year with the jaZams’ Energy Parklet, and all of the energy features we built, this year’s parklet will be more about relaxing with friends, unplugging for a brief time, and just enjoying the design of the structure,” said Maria Evans, Artistic Director of the Arts Council of Princeton and curator of the project.
The 2018 structure is the same as the previous year’s, which uses solar, wind and hydro-power. The structure also uses water-powered cell phone chargers.
Both structures were designed and built by Princeton architect, Joseph Hobart Weiss. Weiss added some new features to this year’s parklet including a green roof to “serve as an educational venue to teach the importance of water, soil and plants in our urban environment.”
Weiss noted at last year’s parklet opening that he draws inspiration for his endeavors from the place and site of where each of his projects will take place.
Sitting in front of its original location of Small World Coffee, Artistic Director, Evans has great praise for the host of her project.
“Jessica Durrie, owner of Small World Coffee, is such a great host for the parklet,” said Evans. “She and her amazing team make sure the parklet stays clean and well-kept for the public. I’m certain this will be another great year for this beloved public art project.”
The 2018 Parklet’s address is 14 Witherspoon Street, which is located in front of Small World Coffee.