What exactly is a Third Place?
In sociology and urban design, there are three places. The First Place is your home. The Second Place is your work. The Third Place is where you experience and make community. Throughout history, the Third Place has been a powerful part of making our world a better, more progressive place.
The “Agora,” from ancient Greece, is considered the first well-documented Third Place: a place where people came together outside of their home and work to socialize, commune, and create community.
The Agora of ancient Greece. Is this Western Civilization’s birthplace?
Today, because so much socialization occurs virtually on our smartphones, the Third Place has become even more important and critical to building and sustaining community.
The French cafe: did the Existentialism of Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus come from this place?
The London Coffee House: did John Locke’s theory of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” spring forth here?
The American Tavern: did Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton decide to declare independence here?
The American Barber Shop: did the Civil Rights Era begin here?
JEMA’s new design for Saint Clair Library is a study in the dynamics and crucial components that make a thriving Third Place. The 9,000 sq. ft. library brings together a variety of spaces, each tailored to different segments of our community: children, teens, adults and seniors. The library is a community center, a living room, a childcare center, a teen center, and a place to check out great literature!
Congratulations to Saint Clair!