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University City District ahead of schedule on reinvention of 40th Street Trolley Portal

University City District (UCD) is moving forward with its plans to revitalize the 40th Street Trolley Portal. The project is being led by Prema Gupta, the organization's director of planning and economic development.

If you've ever been to the 40th Street trolley stop, you probably know it’s not the most inviting or vibrant place in University City. That will soon change with the introduction of The Plaza, the first component in UCD's creative reimagining of the transit hub.

The Plaza will boast chairs, tables, benches, trees and planters, and even boulders for climbing and play. Designed as an amenity for local students, residents and SEPTA passengers, the space will also host ongoing UCD programming and events.

The second component of the portal, The Apron, will improve pedestrian access and replace surfaces around the tracks with seating walls bordering heaps of wildflowers and native plants selected to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators.

Gupta originally announced the project this past spring, and it looks like UCD will begin construction earlier than planned after raising an additional $1.4 million in funds for the effort.

"Because we’ve raised such significant funding, we’re really able to see this come to fruition sooner than we anticipated," says UCD representative Lori Brennan.

"Our work is what happens at ground level," adds UCD Policy and Research Manager Seth Budick, who is currently working on an ambitious public space survey. "We look to constantly make improvements to all the areas and spaces between developments and transit."

It's likely Budick's findings will lead to numerous project tweaks, as he continually oversees improvements to existing public spaces in University City.

"We’re studying in great detail how people are using these [public] spaces and what they’re doing there," he explains. "It’s an approach we’ve really taken to heart."

Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Lori Brennan and Seth Budick, University City District

 

Dust off your skates! The Rothman Ice Rink is coming to Dilworth Park

At a press event this past Wednesday, October 15, Center City District (CCD) President Paul Levy announced the upcoming Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park in front of City Hall.

Sponsored by its namesake orthopedic practice, the Rothman Institute, the new ice skating venue will open to the public on Friday, November 14. Along with Rothman, PNC Bank and local ABC affiliate WPVI have provided financial support for the rink, which will be erected atop Dilworth Park's 11,600-square-foot fountain. It will ve roughly the size of the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.

All-day admission to the ice will be $3 for children and $4 for adults, with skate rentals available for $8. Open seven days a week, the venue will stay open on holidays and offer a four-week learn-to-skate program on Sunday mornings, along with additional events and programs coordinated by CCD.

Avid people-watchers and tired parents will be able relax on the PNC terrace, where they can enjoy coffee, pastries and sandwiches from José Garces’ Rosa Blanca Cuban Diner. Free Wi-Fi will remain available throughout the winter.

As a result of a competitive bidding process held by CCD earlier this year, Rink Management Service Corporation will operate the rink and offer group discounts, birthday party packages and private rentals. 

Held at noon, the press event allowed visitors to get a sense of just how popular Dilworth Park has become as the midday lunch crowd and tourists streamed into the brand new public space.

Other Dilworth Park updates were also provided: According to Levy, a lawn and more bench seating will be accessible this week, and the remainder of the park is set to open before Thanksgiving.

Information on Rothman Ice Rink events and other updates are available at dilworthpark.com.

Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Paul Levy, Center City District

 

Cafe and DVD rental shop coming to Broad and Tasker in South Philly

Temple film school grad Dan Creskoff might be best known for his eighteen-year stint as a manager of two TLA Video locations.

"People would come to TLA and hang out for an hour," he recalls, "and just talk about movies."

Creskoff came to cherish the relationships he formed there.

It wasn’t long after the closing of TLA's brick-and-mortar stores that the cinefile began running into some of his old customers around town. The resulting conversations made Creskoff realize that there was a need for that sort of shared space. With that in mind, he began working on his new business, CineMug.

CineMug, a cafe that will also contain a DVD rental shop and function as quasi-clubhouse for film lovers, is due to open at 1607 S. Broad Street sometime later this fall. The roughly 800-square-foot cafe -- formerly a wireless phone shop turned doctor’s office -- will operate seven days a week. CineMug will also host weekly movie screenings.

Buildout is nearly complete. Creskoff describes the space as "having that living room vibe of hanging out with people you like and talking about things that interest you." Custom reclaimed wood countertops will give the cafe a casual and inviting feel, he adds.

In addition to a carefully curated collection of DVDs that will also be available for online and mobile perusing -- think must-see classics, cult films, documentaries, and plenty of arthouse and indie features -- CineMug will be serving up Fishtown’s ReAnimator Coffee alongside its own housemade chai and iced tea.

Cafe staples like bagels, spreads, pastries and baked goods will also be available, and the full CineMug menu will feature signature dips and sandwiches from South Philly favorite Cosmi's Deli.

Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Dan Creskoff, CineMug
 
 

UCD's annual report sheds light on development trends and the community narrative

On Wednesday, October 15, University City District (UCD) will present its annual State of University City report to a select group of representatives from neighborhood institutions, real estate development groups, small business owners and residents.

In over 70 pages worth of eye-catching charts, graphs and text, the report tells the story of a vibrant and growing submarket that continues to attract a steady stream of educated individuals, innovative startups, creative entrepreneurs and civic-minded businesses.

Some highlights of this year’s report include an explosion of multi-family residential development, an unprecedented 96 percent office occupancy rate, a growing interest in transportation and transit, investment by the University of Pennsylvania in both research facilities and community placemaking destinations, and significant growth in Drexel’s innovation neighborhood near 30th Street Station.

The report also expands on the development plans for the 40th Street Trolley Portal, including the success of UCD fundraising efforts to create a pedestrian-friendly park there.

To create the document, policy and research manager Seth Budick compiles vast amounts of data from UCD’s institutional and business partners, alongside its own in-depth studies and analysis of pedestrian counts, retail occupancy and public space usage.

"What we’re really seeing is a flocking of people and businesses who recognize the value of being close to the density of innovation that’s going on in University City," he explains.

As in previous years, printed reports will be distributed to institutional partners, real estate professionals, local organizations, government representatives and residents, who, according to UCD's Lori Brennan, "use [it] as a recruitment tool for filling office vacancies, and attracting retailers and restaurateurs to open up spaces [in University City]."

The report will be available online on October 16.

Writer: Dan Eldridge
Sources: Seth Budick and Lori Klein Brennan, University City District

 

Skateboarding role models honored at the first annual Paine's Park fundraiser

On the first evening of October, as the sun slowly descended over Paine's Park, a group of onlookers gathered to watch dozens of skaters grind and kick-flip their way through the 16-month-old, $4.5 million skateboard park, located just off the Benjamin Franklin Parkway adjacent to the Schuylkill River.
 
Nearby, skateboarding supporters mingled between an open bar and a silent auction featuring skateboard decks, hotel packages and skate-themed art.
 
The occasion was Street Level, the inaugural fundraising and skate-culture event benefiting the Franklin's Paine Skatepark Fund. The organization is responsible for constructing free public skateparks throughout the city, including Paine's Park. Perhaps more importantly, Franklin's Paine works to empower skateboarders through various community engagement programs and advocacy efforts.
 
"The [organization's] focus for so long was about concrete and bricks," says Franklin's Paine Executive Director Josh Dubin, explaining the genesis of the event, which featured skating demos and a deejay. "But now that it's built, we needed an event that celebrated the people who skate, and all the benefits that come to a community when it supports and nurtures skateboarding as a dynamic force."
 
The proceeds raised by the event will be folded back into the nonprofit organization's fund; Franklin's Paine is currently working to build a skatepark in Nicetown. But as Dubin pointed out, the most crucial aspect of the shindig was its focus "on the places skateboarding can take you if that passion is nurtured and supported."     
 
A number of skateboarding role models were recognized, including Joel Zwicky, a Wisconsin police officer who patrols on a longboard, and Skateistan Founder Oliver Percovich, who uses the sport to positively affect the lives of disenfranchised youth in developing countries.
 
Visit Franklin's Paine online to make a donation.
 
Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Josh Dubin, Franklin's Paine Skatepark Fund 
 

Turning park users into park supporters at annual GLOW in the Park bash

The Fairmount Park Conservancy, which works to preserve and improve the park system through the city, is certainly no slouch when it comes to fundraising. Its $500-a-head Centennial Celebration, for instance, takes place each May and generally brings in about $500,000, or half the organization's annual operating budget.   
 
Which is all well and good. After all, city parks can't operate without competent management and regular maintenance, neither of which come cheap. But the Conservancy's board wants to engage a broader swath of Philadelphia. Four years ago, they started discussing ways to connect with the next generation of park champions. The result was the development of a more accessible event. 

"Everybody's a park user in the Philadelphia region, and we found that so many people want to support the parks," says Conservancy Executive Director Kathryn Ott Lovell. "So why not offer an alternative opportunity?"
 
That alternative opportunity, known as GLOW in the Park, now happens at the beginning of each fall season.
 
The third installment is scheduled to kick off at dusk on October 9. The Strawberry Mansion Music Pavilion in East Fairmount Park will be aglow with lights and the entertainment will include live music and "unusual performances." (Fire dancers have been featured at previous GLOW in the Park incarnations.)

In a nod to the Music Pavilion's heyday at the start of the 1900s, entertainment with an early twentieth-century theme will also be on offer.     
 
And while the Conservancy expects to raise about $45,000 from this year's GLOW, fundraising is not the event's only goal: it's also about recruiting and engaging people who use Philadelphia parks on a regular basis.

"We see this as an opportunity to turn park users into park supporters," explains Lovell.
 
Tickets are $75 and include a one-year Conservancy membership.
 
Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Kathryn Ott Lovell, Fairmount Park Conservancy

 

Landmark $60 million investment to boost Free Library

The Free Library of Philadelphia has announced a $60 million multi-branch development initiative. It will involve not only the significant renovation and expansion of the Parkway Central Library, but of five initial prototype libraries throughout the city. Each will be modernized with the specific needs of their communities in mind.
 
Known as "Building Inspiration: 21st Century Libraries," the multi-faceted plan will be funded in part by $4.5 million from the City of Philadelphia and a historic $25 million gift from the William Penn Foundation. According to a release, the funds from William Penn represent "the largest private gift ever received by the Library."  
 
According to Director and President Siobhan Reardon, the concept for "Building Inspiration" grew from the Free Library's Strategic Plan (PDF) -- essentially a reorganizational effort drawn up after the Library lost roughly 20 percent of its funding from the City and the Commonwealth in 2008 and 2009.
 
Part of that plan involved looking at the ways in which technology is altering basic library services.

"The changes we've announced are all about how to create an engaging 21st-century library in an older building," explains Reardon.

At the 87-year-old Parkway Central branch, for instance, an 8,000-square-foot area called The Common will be designed by architect Moshe Safdie to operate as a flexible and active community gathering space. The South Philadelphia Library will be fitted with a 'Health Information and New Americans' room. The Logan Library will be getting a family literacy center. The Lovett Memorial, Tacony and Lillian Marrero branches will also see progressive improvements.
 
"I think what you're going to find interesting at the neighborhood libraries is a very open experience," says Reardon, who adds that most branches should reopen in late 2016. "It's going to be a much more civically-engaged social learning environment."

Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Siobhan Reardon, Free Library of Philadelphia

 

As the Science Center expands, plans emerge to upgrade the campus' livability

On September 12, the 51-year-old University City Science Center celebrated the latest addition to its ever-expanding West Philadelphia campus, now home to more than two million square feet of lab and office space.
 
Known as 3737 Science Center and located at 3737 Market Street, the 13-story glass tower was developed jointly by the Science Center and Wexford Science & Technology. The $115 million building is already at 82 percent capacity.
 
Indeed, interest in the space from potential life-science and healthcare tenants was so consistently strong throughout construction that an extra two floors (over the originally-planned 11) were added to the plan.
 
Spark Therapeutics, a gene therapy startup, is occupying the building's top floor. With Penn Medicine as the anchor tenant, other residents include the Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine and, in the tower's ground-floor retail space, the Corner Bakery Cafe, which is expected to open by the end of this year.
 
3737 Science Center is the campus' 16th building. At nearby 3601 Market Street, the Science Center is currently constructing a 20-story, $110 million residential tower, which broke ground last year. That high-rise, according to President and CEO Stephen Tang, is part of the campus' current philosophy "to be a place to live, work and play," he says. "Not just work, which is quite frankly what we've been doing for most of our 51-year history."  
 
"We're trying to become a world-class innovation center across University City and not just across the Science Center's campus," he adds. "We really want to be a vibrant center. And that includes attracting smart, creative and innovative people to our campus to live, as well as to work."

Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Stephen Tang, University City Science Center

The University City Science Center
 has partnered with Flying Kite to showcase innovation in Greater Philadelphia.

Franklin Mills announces major redevelopment project, and a new name to boot

The 25-year-old, 200-store shopping mall and outlet center formerly known as Franklin Mills has announced a major redevelopment project, and a new name to boot.

The mall, which was originally developed by the Mills Corporation which is now owned and operated by Simon Property Group (which also owns the King of Prussia Mall), has been renamed Philadelphia Mills.  
 
According to The Mills President Gregg Goodman, Simon Property Group had been actively working on plans to upgrade and update the property since as far back as 2007, when it acquired the mall. New customer amenities, he says, were always part of that plan.

Along with mall-wide Wi-Fi, lounge areas with device changing stations will be installed when interior renovations begin early next year.

"The long and short of what we're doing should add up to a completely new shopping experience," he insists.               

New landscaping, updated signage and a modernized façade will all play major roles in the redevelopment. And the mall's interior will be considerably brightened thanks to new flooring and skylights. Even the restrooms will be renovated, and roughly a dozen new retail stores and eateries, including Express Factory Outlet, will be added.     
 
As for the mall's name change -- the original moniker was a nod to Benjamin Franklin -- Goodman says it was led by a formal branding study.

"But in the end, the reason we went with 'Philadelphia Mills' is probably the most straightforward of all reasons -- the fact that we're actually in the city of Philadelphia," he explains. "Not a lot of people realize that. But we're proud of it, and wanted a name that was emblematic of that."   
 
A grand reopening event is tentatively scheduled to take place at the Bucks County-bordering Philadelphia Mills sometime in fall 2015.

Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Gregg Goodman, The Mills

Eleven vacant public schools to become a mix of residential and commercial spaces

The ongoing financial woes of the Philadelphia School District have been a constant presence the local media recently. Two weeks ago, it was the city's School Reform Commission (SRC) that stole headlines -- an unexpected September 18 announcement reveled that the SRC had approved the sale of 11 vacant public school buildings throughout the city, including Germantown High School.      
 
The City had help from the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) in structuring the 11 deals, which will bring in a total of $19.3 million. Yet after the properties close -- a process that is expected to be completed sometime in early 2015 -- it is projected that closing costs and other associated fees will leave the City with a net revenue of only some $2 million.
 
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) will be purchasing four of the vacant schools -- Communications Technology High, Pepper Middle School, John Reynolds Elementary and Rudolph Walton Elementary -- for $3 million each. The PHA says it plans to tear down two of those schools and replace them with a mix of residential and commercial units. One of the buildings will become a residential facility for senior citizens.  
 
Five of the buildings, including Germantown High and Carroll Charles High, will be sold to the Bethesda, Md.-based Concordia Group, a residential and commercial developer that operates largely in the Washington, D.C. area. Two of the schools going to Concordia -- which will pay $6.8 million for its buildings -- will also become residential buildings of some sort.
 
And in South Philadelphia, the Edward W. Bok Technical High School building was purchased for $2.1 million by Scout Ltd. LLCPlans are reportedly underway for a mixed-use project featuring a maker-style co-working space, a number of live-work units, and ground-floor retail.

Writer: Dan Eldridge

Germantown's Maplewood Mall Reconstruction Project moves forward with its first public meeting

It's been more than a year since Philadelphia's Department of Commerce announced its intention to spend $2.2 million to redevelop and re-imagine Germantown's Maplewood Mall, a narrow historic retail pathway located near the neighborhood's two main business districts, Germantown Avenue and West Chelten Avenue.
 
Following months of planning by the design team of Whitman, Requardt & Associates, in partnership with a slew of city agencies ranging from Parks and Recreation to the Streets Department, the very first public meeting to discuss the Mall's reconstruction was held recently at Germantown's First Presbyterian Church.  
 
Approximately 60 members of the community filled the church's sanctuary. The City Planning Commission's Matt Wysong and 8th District Councilwoman Cindy Bass expressed their hope that the Mall will look more like a creative placemaking project than a traditional reconstruction of a municipal street.

As a flyer advertising the meeting announced, "The goal is to provide a design that will create a framework for the reinvention of the Mall into a vibrant and successful urban space."
 
The project is currently in month four of its design and engineering phase, though shovels aren't expected to touch dirt until sometime in early 2016.
 
In the meantime, Germantown residents are weighing in on the various proposed plans to reengineer the Mall, which could potentially see its roadway slightly lengthened and the small plazas that bookend it significantly redesigned.   
 
Perhaps the most edifying aspect of the public meeting was the chance for community members to inspect the Mall's three proposed design ideas. A gracefully retro lumberyard theme has already received overwhelming support from business owners and other stakeholders, according to artist Jennie Shanker, who was hired to consult with the project's design and landscape architecture team.    
 
Click here to view the proposed designs and the meeting's Powerpoint presentation
 
Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Maplewood Mall Reconstruction Project Public Meeting

 

Metered parking spaces throughout the city to morph into pop-up parks

As you step outside your home or office this Friday, September 19, don't be surprised if you see your neighbor lounging where their car would normally be parked.

In fact, don't be surprised if an antique coffee table is perched on the sidewalk next to them, or if a working lamp, bookshelf or mini-fridge is alongside in the gutter.   
 
Every year here in Philadelphia -- and throughout the world, for that matter -- on the third Friday of September, an unusual celebration of public spaces occurs at dozens of metered parking spaces throughout the city.
 
Known as PARK(ing) Day, the nine-year-old event was first launched in San Francisco, where a single metered parking space was transformed for two hours into a miniature public park by members of an architecture firm. A photo of the temporary installation soon went viral, and by 2011, PARK(ing) Day was being celebrated in 162 cities on six continents.
 
Here in Philly, more than 50 diminutive pop-up parks will be installed in Center City, Queen Village, Germantown, Fishtown and North Philly, to name a few. An interactive map of the planned parks can be accessed online.
 
As Erike De Veyra of Zimmerman Studio, which organizes the event locally, points out, the purpose of PARK(ing) Day Philadelphia isn't solely to raise awareness of public spaces. It's also to suggest that public spaces, which bring communities together, don't necessarily need to be large or even particularly expensive in order to serve their purpose.
 
From 5 to 8 p.m., the Center for Architecture will host an after-party featuring photos from the day. Click here to reserve a spot.  

Insider's Tip: According to De Veyra, a Center City architecture firm historically hosts one of the event's best parks. It's located near the corner of Broad and Walnut.

Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Erike De Veyra, Zimmerman Studio

Indoor mini-golf comes to Kenzo, and soon to South Philly

Until recently, Philadelphians with a miniature-golf habit had exactly one option within the city proper: the 18-hole course at Center City's Franklin Square, with its family-friendly vibe and Spirit of '76 theme for tourists.
 
Fortunately, that's no longer the case.
 
Keystone Mini-Golf and Arcade, an indoor facility with nine holes and a grown-up, party-friendly atmosphere, recently opened at 161 Cecil B. Moore Avenue in Olde Kensington. And, in an unrelated venture, an 18-hole glow-in-the-dark putt-putt course known as Adventurer's Mini-Golf is due to open any day now at 38 Jackson Street in South Philly.
 
Both businesses feature arcade games and Skee-Ball, and both offer dedicated party rooms. At Keystone Mini-Golf, which proudly advertises itself as a BYOB facility, the party takes place in a backyard gravel lot, open to the elements and outfitted with picnic tables.
 
Keystone was started by Bucks County natives Bill Cannon and Drew Ferry, who stumbled onto their lightbulb moment after a session at a driving range in Southampton.

"We were walking back to the car and saw a mini-golf course," recalls Ferry. "We thought we could do a little spin on it [in the city], and do it BYO."

The old-school, DIY-style course was put together in about six weeks with the help of Ferry's father, who works in construction. And while Ferry hasn't yet given up his day job as a mover, Keystone's first month went much better than expected.

"It's been amazing," says Cannon. "Yesterday, a guy came in with his girlfriend. Later at night, he came back with a buddy."

On September 21 Keystone is hosting its Inaugural Mini-Golf Open with a $25 buy-in, free beer and prizes. 

Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Bill Cannon and Drew Ferry, Keystone Mini-Golf 

 

Six 'Groundbreaking' finalists announced for DVGBC's annual celebration of green building

As one of 79 regional chapters under the umbrella of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC) certainly doesn't mince words when it comes to its mission -- there it is, in 16-point type atop the "Strategic Plan" page of its website: "Green Buildings for All."
 
Here in the Delaware Valley, the execution of that vision translates to outreach and public policy work intended to transform the community through environmentally responsible building.

DVGBC also hosts an annual awards ceremony designed to recognize green development projects "that are really cutting-edge and transformational," says Janet Milkman, the Council's executive director. "We've always tried to celebrate the thrust in green building practice in our region," she adds, explaining why this year's ceremony is being referred to as the Groundbreaker Awards.
 
Six finalists have been chosen out of 20 total nominations. The three winners will be announced during a September 18 awards ceremony at Center City's Suzanne Roberts Theater modeled after the Oscars; attendees will enter on a green carpet.
 
"Honestly, we had 20 wonderful submissions," says Milkman. "They were all terrific, so the jury had a hard time."

Ultimately, the six finalists were chosen because of their uniqueness in the region, and because of their potential to be modeled by future developement projects.  
 
UPenn's Shoemaker Green, which is managing stormwater with vegetative infrastructure approaches, is one such project. So is North Philadelphia's residential Paseo Verde, a mixed-income transportation-oriented development (TOD) project, and the first in the country to achieve Platinum status under the LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) designation.
 
Other finalists included KidZooU at the Philadelphia Zoo and the Camden Friends Meeting House and Social Hall in Delaware.

Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Janet Milkman, DVGBC

 

Inquirer's Inga Saffron throws some shade at new Dilworth Park

As Flying Kite has reported, City Hall's Dilworth Park opened on September 4. Folks from around the city came out to get aquainted with Philadelphia's latest revamped public space.

Among those visitors was esteemed Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron, and she was, well, slightly disappointed.

Dilworth's new comforts, which won't be complete until November, are undermined by an uptight and controlling sensibility...The new design was intended to be the polar opposite of the 37-year-old plaza, a hardscape extravaganza by the late Vincent Kling, the same midcentury modernist who exhausted a couple of quarries building LOVE Park, the Centre Square towers, and Municipal Services Building and its plaza. In place of Kling's tricky level changes, gratuitous barriers, shadowy hiding places and puffed-up monumentality, we now have a flat, multipurpose surface, wide-open views -- and a new kind of puffed-up monumentality. There are vast amounts of hardscape...

The aesthetic is all wrong for a city eager to remake itself for an expanding creative class...Yes, there is real magic when the fountain's jets of water shoot into action, but inactivated, the granite landscape is dry and stiff. The new Dilworth is a suit in a jeans-and-T-shirt world.

Saffron goes into details about her frustrations, which extend to the materials and a lack of greenery.

It sounds strange, but the designers' emphasis on perfection is suffocating. They bludgeon you with "high quality" materials that evoke the atmosphere of a slick corporate lobby. Five types of granite are used, ranging from speckled white to dark black, on the plaza surface.

Olin's sculpted benches, which are seductive and beautiful forms, also are granite. A wooden version, similar to Olin's design for nearby Lenfest Plaza, would have softened the official feel of the place. So would some additional shade, but all the greenery has been relegated to the periphery. The nicest spot is a small grove where the chairs have been arranged on crushed gravel rather than granite.

Maybe I spent too much time in beer gardens this summer, but I found myself longing for some of their laid-back, serendipitous vibe.

 
All that said, Dilworth Park remains a vast improvement over its gray, dreary, lurker-shielding predecessor. There's a cafe and interactive water feature; there is also ample space for public events, be it protests or concerts. And, it's a huge project completed thanks to a public-private partnership.

There is no doubt that this important civic space, once a smelly, run-down municipal embarrassment in the heart of Philadelphia, has been greatly improved by the Center City District's Paul Levy, who marshaled a dream team of Philadelphia's most renowned designers and engineers. The amenities, from the food vendor to the picnic lawn, are reason enough to applaud.

How about you? What do you think of the new Dilworth Park? Tweet us @flyingkitemedia or hit us up on Facebook.

 
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