Envisioning Corey Square: please share your ideas

Central High School from Concord Street, Corey Square - photo by Brian O'Connor

As part of LivableMHT’s Envisioning series, we’re beginning to look at the Corey Square neighborhood, and specifically the square itself, at the intersection of Maple, Lowell and Nashua Streets.  We’ll be looking at how the neighborhood might be enhanced with amenities for pedestrians, bicyclists and hopefully transit users in the future, how the streetscape might be beautified, how to encourage investment in buildings and facade improvements similar to those downtown and in Rimmon Heights, and especially how the square itself might be made friendlier to local residents and visitors, and become the vibrant heart of this diverse neighborhood.

Corey Square, sometimes called Janeville, comprises the area roughly between Union and Ashland Streets to the east and west, and Pearl and Manchester Streets to the north and south.  The neighborhood includes the major intersections of Maple and Beech Streets with Hanover and Bridge Streets, as well as such landmarks as the Ash Street School, Central High School, Bronstein Park, and the Boys and Girls Club.  It is the smallest city neighborhood by land area, but it is densely populated, fully developed, and extremely walkable.  In addition to enjoying close proximity to downtown, NHIA, the City Library and the Currier, Corey Square is located along the two major eastern gateways into the city along Hanover and Bridge Streets.  The area once known as Janeville is a warren of narrow, meandering lanes that unlike almost all others in the city center were not built according to a grid of some sort, and the actual square at the center of the neighborhood is located where one of these lanes (Nashua Street) meets the grid at Lowell and Maple Streets.

Maple Street toward Ash Street School, Corey Square - photo by Brian O'Connor
Market, Corey Square - photo by Brian O'Connor

LivableMHT has already begun looking at how the central square, and especially Maple Street between Hanover and Bridge Streets, might be made more of a welcoming place for people as opposed to the present thoroughfare for cars.  This is just one aspect of one area of the neighborhood, though.  We’d also likely to think about some other prominent areas in greater detail, such as the area around the Ash Street School at Maple and Bridge Streets, as well as possible zoning changes, infrastructure improvements and programs for property owners to improve facades and develop infill projects in open lots throughout the neighborhood.

Corey Square as envisioned by LivableMHT; existing (left) and draft improvements (right) showing new (bright red) and renovated (dull red) buildings, narrowed Maple Street with bike lane, streetscape beautification and new greenspace

As we work at envisioning Corey Square, we’re hoping to get feedback and ideas from members of the community, especially those who live or work in or around Corey Square, but anyone is welcome and encouraged to offer thoughts and ideas.  If you have any ideas or thoughts to share, please comment on this page or contact us.


4 thoughts on “Envisioning Corey Square: please share your ideas

  1. One thing I’ve always found fascinating about the Corey Square neighborhood is that section comprised of Nashua, Jane, Malvern and Dutton streets. While most of the rest of the Center City, and much of Manchester for that matter, is comprised of a grid-like street system, these streets go diagonally. I’ve always wondered why.

    1. I read about the history of the area several years, but now I can’t remember where or find much information on it quickly. What I do recall is that the area was referred to as Janeville, and I believe the streets at least predate the mills and the grid laid out by the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. A little farther out, the same is true of Massabesic Street and Old Falls Road in the Hollow, and Young Street in Somerville. Janeville or Corey Square is unique, because it’s so close to downtown and because it’s such a cluster of non-conforming streets. I’d love to know more of the history about it, but regardless the area makes for some very interesting buildings and spaces at intersections that are unusual in Manchester.

      1. I remember covering this in History class at Central. There was actually 2 small villages, Janesville (named for Jane Southwick) and Towlesville (named for Hiram Towle) which were side by side between Hanover and bridge. As the city grew it consumed these two villages into the regular grid of the Amoskeag grid.

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