Lane sounds off on Kesey Square controversy: should Eugene allow developers to build on the public space?

kesey square
Kesey Square sits empty on a cloudy afternoon. Some community members would like to see this spot transformed into an apartment complex or business, while others wish to keep the square a public space.


The City of Eugene has been in talks with a group of local businesses that wish to build an apartment complex on the Broadway Plaza square, home to the Ken Kesey statue. The square has been a locally famous landmark since the statue’s unveiling in 2003.

Chellsie Johnson ­— “Working people that go to school and have jobs, they have to pay for that. So I really feel like it’s something we have to address, but I really don’t know how I would go about that, go about fixing it.”

Dan Brown“I mean it would be cool to still have some kind of public place where people can gather, you know, maybe a little more professional than homeless people sitting around. It’s cool to have those places where you can go when you just have some time to kill.”

Nathan O’Kin“Me and my friends would go to Voodoo Doughnuts, or I’d talk to people downtown, and it was really fun. I feel like to build something on it [the square] would erase those memories in a way because you can’t go back and see them.”

Elora Silverwhip“I think if they wanted to renovate the space they should put a fountain there, because we need more fountains.”

Jeff Wolf“I don’t think that’s a good place for student housing. I would think it’s strange ­— let’s not say whether it’s good or bad but it would be strange. I know there are other apartment complexes there but it seems like anything that is situated right there gets really expensive.”