The abandoned elevated railway lines that comprise the Reading Viaduct extend from Vine Street at 11th Street to Fairmount Avenue at 9th Street, with an east-west spur that connects the southern terminus of the viaduct to Broad Street. The railway viaduct began operating in the 1890s and ceased operation in 1984 upon opening of the Center City commuter rail connection. What is left of the viaduct is a section of elevated track atop a dramatic stone abutment that has been awkwardly severed at its southern and northern ends
At just over one mile in length, the viaduct park as envisioned will: connect a larger recreation network that includes the Schuylkill Banks, East Coast Greenway, and Delaware River Trail; fill a void in a neighborhood that is significantly underserved by existing park or green space; link the neighborhood to the existing and planned network of on-street bikeways; and reuse a remnant of the city’s industrial past. Comparable projects, such as the High Line in New York City and Promenade Plantée in Paris, have yielded a tremendous positive economic impact on surrounding land values and neighborhood investment.