On the heels of the contretemps over the city of Northampton’s (since-reversed) decision to remove public benches from its downtown, Channel 22 reporter Laura Hutchinson has asked questions about the benches that were removed from Court Square eight years ago.
While city officials have long maintained that the benches were removed as part of renovation work at Court Square, skeptics believe there was another motive: to dissuade homeless people from hanging out and sleeping at such a prime downtown spot.
Not so, Pat Sullivan, head of the city’s parks and buildings department, told Hutchinson. He said the benches will be replaced after the long-delayed renovation work at 31 Elm St. is completed; if they were returned now, Sullivan said, they’d be in the way of construction equipment.
Back in 2008, the Republican’s Pete Goonan wrote this similar article on the Mystery of the Missing Benches.
So when will we see the benches back? Hutchinson reports that work at 31 Elm will happen “soon.”