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Venice Island Performing Arts
and Recreation Center

New waterfront community and performance arts space in Manayunk

Venice Island

Venice Island is an eco-friendly community space along the Schuylkill River in Manayunk. Credit: Philadelphia Water Department


Philadelphia’s Manayunk neighborhood has a new waterfront community destination with the recent opening of the Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center along the Schuylkill River.

Developed in partnership with the Philadelphia Water Department and the Parks and Recreation department, the massive $45 million project is situated on a piece of land located between the Manayunk Canal and Schuylkill River.

Venice Island serves a dual purpose with a four million-gallon underground water tank and pumping station below and a 250-seat performing arts center, outdoor amphitheater and recreational facilities above.

Expect original programming throughout the year including professional and amateur performers, children’s theater and more.

Performing Arts and Recreation

The Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center is a state-of-the art, 250-seat theater developed to provide a creative space for the Manayunk neighborhood. Fully equipped with the latest sound, lighting and fly systems, the new space offers a place for community events, after-school programming and theatrical productions.

An outdoor parking lot provides space for up to 180 cars and can be used to host a variety of outdoor events and activities. The grounds also include multiple basketball courts, recreation space, a dock and outdoor sculpture.

Garden Spray Park

Venice Island offers plenty of space for play with an outdoor area that is a blend of a playground, garden and – in the summer – a water park. Controllable water features at the Garden Spray Park ofter children a cool break from the heat during warmer weather.

Permeable surfaces placed throughout the park will filter the water runoff through the living landscape, creating an eco-friendly play space.

Eco-Friendly Design

In addition to creating a robust community space, the project also aims to improve the health and water quality of the Schuylkill River.

Located underneath Venice Island is a massive basin capable of holding four million gallons of storm water after intense storms. The 400-foot-long, 75-foot-wide tank is 25-feet-deep – large enough to fit 180 SEPTA buses. A pump house, featuring a sloped green roof, manages the storm water runoff.

Special planters and trenches are located throughout the site to help manage and filter storm water on the surface.

For more on the Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center, click the button below.

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Main Street & Cotton Street Philadelphia, PA 19127
(215) 482-9565

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