Look for de­signs in the stones

The Times-Tribune - - Local - — BILL WELLOCK

WILKES-BARRE — When Bohlin and Pow­ell Ar­chi­tects re­designed Wilkes-Barre’s Pub­lic Square af­ter Hur­ri­cane Agnes, they in­cluded nearly 150 de­signs carved into stones. As pedes­tri­ans walk through the space, they pass over mod­ern pet­ro­glyphs show­ing sym­bols of na­ture, technology, ar­chi­tec­ture and lo­cal his­tory.

Some de­signs are easy to iden­tify. Images of leaves dot stones through­out the park. A cat, a pret­zel, hands and lips are in the seat­ing area; and crops like straw­ber­ries, onions, mel­ons, ap­ples and peaches are hid­den among the planters on the edges of the square. Else­where, the sharpeyed pedes­trian can spot a bee­hive — a sym­bol of the city — and a map show­ing the out­line of the Susque­hanna River in the area.

Other carv­ings are less ob­vi­ous. One sym­bol hon­ors the Na­tional Par­lia­ment de­signed by ar­chi­tect Louis Kahn in Dhaka, Bangladesh, one of sev­eral images in­spired by ar­chi­tects. An­other un­clear carv­ing is ex­plained on a map as “crunched per­son.”

The ar­chi­tec­ture firm that be­came Bohlin Cy­win­ski Jack­son has a map of the pet­ro­glyphs. It shows where you can find de­signs around the now-dry large and small foun­tains, walk­ways, planters and small sunken seat­ing area.

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