Ruskin Place, a mixed-use neighborhood and park in Seaside, has always been somewhat of a hidden treasure, surprising visitors who come upon the small outdoor rooms to the north of Central Square. The tranquil park, surrounded by boutiques and art galleries, rewards those who want to take an afternoon spent relaxing under the twisted oaks.
The park has a new feature, installed in May — an artistic metal gate in front of the lawn of the park. Three years in the making, the Ruskin Place homeowners first conceived the idea of the gate. Resident artists Laura Granberry and Mary Florence Forsythe drew the initial designs and Freeport-based metal fabricator Jos Bekkers constructed the final piece.
While most gates are meant to keep people out, this gate does not restrict access to the green space in Ruskin Park. Rather it diverts high intensity traffic — mainly bikes and strollers — toward the perimeter of the lawn framed by sidewalks, park benches and shops, keeping the lawn in tact for anyone who wants to enjoy a blanketed picnic or walk on the grass through the back portion of the lawn.
“It’s too beautiful to be a gate,” says Seaside resident Glen Seawell, who has the gate’s massive modern medieval key. “It’s more of an artistic structure. Because of the artistic nature of the gate, it’s attracting people. It’s become a great photo op.”
The hand-crafted gate features hidden elements. See if you can spot all of them: