Ward 5 Alderman Courtney O’Keefe unveiled the new Magoun Square in a ceremony on May 23 after it was initially installed and removed three weeks ago. The neighborhood has been awaiting a sign to welcome visitors since its redesign began three years ago –especially since other Somerville squares have had them for years.
Thursday’s ceremony was attended by roughly 20 people, including Mayor Joe Curtatone and Ward 5 School Committee member Mark Niedergang, who will face off against O’Keefe in November’s alderman election. Jackie Rossetti, spokesperson for the mayor’s office, tells the Somerville Journal that the ceremony was scheduled at a date when the mayor and other community leaders were able to attend.
The sign’s removal led to speculation as to why it was taken down, with O’Keefe explaining that she had noticed a problem with the sign that needed fixing. Given the second chance to unveil the sign, O’Keefe and other city officials decided to set up a ceremony to symbolize the neighborhood’s emergence following improvements over the past several years.
When it initially appeared, the sign was covered by a blue tarp and never revealed before its removal. Its place had been evidently marked by the red posts that remained after it had been taken down. The gold-lettering-on-red aesthetic matches that of the Davis and Union Square signs.
“Love the sign,” says Joe Lynch, co-host of SCATV’s Greater Somerville. “[It] brands the square and lets visitor know they have arrived and are welcome.”
O’Keefe mirrored this sentiment, telling attendees at Thursday’s ceremony that the sign “says, you’re here, please stay, try the mac and cheese.”