Undergoing renovations to become one of the city’s great green spaces
Opens Sept. 4, 2014
Located at the foot of City Hall, Dilworth Park has undergone a major — and awesome — transformation.
On September 4, the park will reopen as a modern and welcoming outdoor space, reestablishing William Penn’s original Center Square as a gathering place for all Philadelphians.
Read on for full details of the massive renovations.
The 120,557-square-foot public space will create a dynamic and accessible new hub for pedestrians, commuters and visitors.
A multifaceted space, Dilworth Park will include an enormous Great Lawn, an outdoor café operated by Jose Garces, a computer-programmable fountain, a performance space and activity areas for outdoor markets and an ice-skating rink in season.
Additionally, SEPTA transit lines will now be far more accessible with new elevators and new stairs, sheltered by cool-looking clear glass headhouses, to connect the surface streets with new entrances to the Market and Broad Street Lines and transit hub below, a system that transports 305,000 passengers through Center City each day.
Food & Drink
A plaza café located along the JFK Boulevard side of the park brings a Jose Garces dining destination to Dilworth Park. Modeled after Garces’ modern Cuban diner Rosa Blanca, the cafe has plans to serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. Those planning special events on site will also have the option of fare from Brûlée Catering by Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix.
With seating inside and outside on the terrace, the cafe ought to attract diners at all hours — breakfast, lunchtime, happy hour and dinner.
The full cafe will not be quite ready for the ribbon-cutting on September 4, but will be up and running soon after.
There will be four tree groves located on the park, providing shade and creating an oasis in the center of Philadelphia. The tree species selected are conducive to city settings and include Honey locust, Black locust, Katsura and London plane. These tree groves will help lower air temperature as well as make the air healthier.
On Thursday, September 4, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a full weekend of celebrations will christen Dilworth Park.
Led by Mayor Michael Nutter, a grand opening ceremony kicks off at 11 a.m. with the ribbon cutting, followed by an all-day community arts and culture festival featuring performances and talent from neighborhoods across the city, organized by Center City District and presented by Comcast.
On Friday, September 5, from noon to 7 p.m., there will be a Picnic in the Park, presented by American Express, providing an introduction for Center City’s office workers to this exciting new destination. Picnic-style lunches will be available for sale and live music will enliven the park.
Sips in the Park will begin at 5 p.m. and continue until 7 p.m., with more live music and happy-hour drink specials.
On Saturday, September 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., it’s Playtime in the Park with family-friendly activities including music, storytelling, games, and more.
On opening day, the park will be almost complete, but a few sections — including the lawn and walkways to South Penn Square — are scheduled to be finished between mid- and late October.
Plus, also to come is seasonal ice skating and regular programming and activities to appeal to diverse audiences of all ages throughout the fall.
Later, Dilworth Plaza will also be home to Pulse, a specially commissioned work of public art by internationally recognized artist Janet Echelman that will be integrated into the programmable fountain that will use colors to trace the path of trains in real time. A new work of public art, created by internationally recognized artist Janet Echelman, will reflect the location’s gateway to the Broad and Market Street subways and trolley lines.
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