Two metered parking spaces on Palmer Square in front of JaZams have been transformed into a parklet for the summer and fall.
The Arts Council of Princeton raised $10,000 for the parklet, which took several months to build.
Designed by local architect Joseph Hobart Weiss, the ‘energy playground’ parklet features a reading area, a game area, and other interactive spaces meant to educate people about renewable energy. A sun area includes a bench and solar panels, and a bike area includes two stationary bikes connected to generators. There is also tiny wind mills on the roof, and a hydroelectric generator. Organizers are also planning to add a cooling station to the parklet when the weather gets warmer. The energy generated from the parklet will power lights, cell phone charging stations, and a screen in jaZams’s storefront window will track the amount of energy the parklet generates.
A grand opening celebration for the parklet is scheduled for 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, June 10. Free ice cream will be provided by Halo Pub and the bent spoon. The gathering is free and open to the public.
The parklet will be open until early November.
Sponsors include jaZams, NRG Energy, Hamilton Building Supply, the Princeton University Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, the Princeton University Architecture Department, Joseph Hobart Weiss, the Princeton Public Library, Davidge Design Studio, Halo Pub, Kopps Cycles, MacLean Agency, the Municipality of Princeton, the Nassau Inn, Palmer Square Management, Smith’s Ace Hardware, Sustainable Princeton, Teresa’s Café, Thames & Kosmos, the bent spoon and ThinkForm Architects.
The Palmer Square parklet is the second parklet in Princeton. The first parklet in 2015 was located on two parking spaces in front of Small World Coffee. A parklet was slated to open in front of jaZams last summer but didn’t happen due to logistics and fundraising issues.