I had never heard of the term diamond being used for a public square until recently. Doing some research into hot dog joints in New Castle, PA, the one place bills itself as being "on the diamond". This led me to do a little bit more research.
In the 1950's we always referred to that which is now known as "Market Square" in Pittsburgh as "The Diamond" or Diamond Square (which I now realize is redundant). The surroundings were known as "the Diamond District". (Back then, the Diamond Market was a market, not a restaurant/bar; when my grandfather took me to town we always ate at the Original Oyster House
). Being a kid, I was always looking for a bunch of jewelery stores or maybe even the Hope Diamond! I had no idea that 'diamond' was an old Scot term for town square.
We moved to New Wilmington in 1962 and went to New Castle several times a week to shop. In my seven years there I never heard it referred to as a 'diamond'. It was always "The Square" or, later "Kennedy Square"; believe it or not, in those days Protestants persisted in just calling it "The Square".
In college at Westminster we would visit "The Square" several times a week to visit M&P Coney Island
for Chili Dogs, fries, and BEER. The ever gracious and generously endowed waitress, Mary, always served us even though she knew we were underaged: "If you're old enough to be drafted, you're old enough to have a beer - or as many as four
". And yes, she kept count. God Bless her! The 'hot dog chef' had very
hairy forearms which he used to line up six buns before filling them with dogs and chili, but even that was part of the delightful ambiance.
Even though New Castle has lost more than half its population since 1960, M&P Coney is still there on The Square.
<message edited by MetroplexJim on Tue, 07/16/13 6:04 PM>