What's In A Name? Committee Considers Kesey Square

Oct 2, 2017

Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis has formed an ad hoc committee to look into renaming downtown’s Broadway Plaza. The gathering place at the corner of Broadway and Willamette Streets is commonly referred to as Kesey Square.

Credit Rachael McDonald

A statue of the famous local author Ken Kesey sits in the plaza, it depicts the Merry Prankster in later age reading to a group of children on a bench. The City Council has considered officially renaming the plaza after the late author but there has been a lot of debate. Mayor Vinis says there’s some talk of giving it a name that’s more multicultural and inclusive. She says the plaza is a part of Eugene’s urban geography that lots of people care about.
“It matters to the business community down there. It’s the heart of their business district.” Vinis says, “And it matters to the rest of the community as a gathering place and a landmark. You know when people ask where to meet someone they say, let’s meet at Kesey. So, in common usage, I’d say, people call it Kesey.”
Vinis says each member of the City Council chose someone to be on the ad hoc naming committee. Its first public meeting is October 4th at noon at the atrium building in downtown Eugene.