Bryan Hanes, designer of the first phase of the Rail Park, likes to think the highly anticipated park will give visitors a glimpse of Philadelphia they’ve never seen before. The same way developments near the rivers have brought residents to places where only industry once stood, the Rail Park will do the same above the ground.
Construction on the Rail Park is shaping up quite nicely, according to these new drone images and videos that captured the train line-turned-future-park from above.
The “North Poles,” as they’re called, have spent the past few months undergoing some tweaks and enhancements, long after the city first installed the 55-feet-tall masts in late 2016. The newly-formed community and economic development group North Broad Renaissance was tasked with hiring a contractor to install upgraded LED lights for the poles—the initial lights were too faint for the naked eye—and maintain general upkeep of the 2.5-mile art installation between Wood Street and Glenwood Avenue.
At the Divine Lorraine on North Broad, the two iconic lights atop the apartment building have been shining since November, and residents have been moving into their new homes in the historic building since January 1. Now, all that’s really left for the $44 million restoration project is the return of its grand lobby.
Thanks to our warm winter months, Philly’s own version of the High Line is almost ready.
The first part of the Rail Park will be complete in January 2018, said Sarah McEneaney, president of Friends of the Rail Park. Originally, this phase was slated to be completed in late 2018; the date was then moved up to spring 2018. Now it’s looking like we’ll be able to walk around on the refurbished tracks of the old Reading Viaduct in a few months.
“Because of the mild winter we are on schedule and maybe a little ahead,” McEneaney said. “They work late some days when the weather is perfect.”
Thank you to everybody who took part in today’s Jane\s Walk Callowhill!! I had an excellent time hosting!
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, Bruno Mars, and Heineken have teamed up for the Cities Project, a crowd-sourced fundraising initiative that aims to help improve 10 cities around the country. Folks who contribute at least $150 to one of the city projects will automatically receive two tickets to a Bruno Mars concert in the city of their choosing this summer.
That the viaduct rail park is actually becoming a thing is, well, dumb luck. In 2015, when developers Aaron Cohen and Craig Grossman set their sights on a block just north of Chinatown, they liked what the elevated rail tracks lent to the area; they were authentic and gritty in the best possible way. Now the first phase of the park is under way, and that’s a huge bonus for their audacious plans.
It only takes a long walk along the four-mile stretch of North Broad, between City Hall and Germantown Avenue, to know that something’s up. There is, of course, the Divine Lorraine Hotel covered in scaffolding, its bright red, neon lights now shining after 40 years. There’s constant construction throughout Temple’s campus. And then there’s a whole lot of talk of this old building or that abandoned warehouse’s future.