RJ White, Manager of Media Relations & Interactive Marketing
Preparatory Work for Sister Cities Park Improvements to Begin Next Week
(March 5, 2010) – In advance of construction later this spring, the Center City District (CCD) will start site clearance and excavation on March 8, testing and exploring sub-surface conditions at select areas of Sister Cities Park ,the eastern-most portion of Logan Square in front of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Then, later this spring the CCD will start construction of a children’s discovery garden and play area, a fountain commemorating Philadelphia’s global sister cities, and a 3,000 square foot pavilion containing a café and community room. The new, one-story building will incorporate contemporary green building systems including geothermal technologies, a green wall and a green roof. New trees, landscaping, walkways and lighting will also be added to the park. The $4.6 million dollar project is slated for completion in 2011.
“The Center City District has been working for over a decade to improve the Parkway’s public spaces with pedestrian and architectural lighting, new directional and interpretive signs, the reconstruction of Aviator Park in front of the Franklin Institute and most recently, the renovation of Three Parkway Plaza and construction of Café Cret,” said CCD President Paul R. Levy. “The Sister Cities Park project is the next step in plans to animate the Parkway.”
The project is one of several Parkway initiatives totaling $17 million announced in the summer of 2008 by Governor Rendell and Mayor Nutter with support from the Commonwealth, City of Philadelphia, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the William Penn Foundation and the Knight Foundation. Funding for the renovation of Sister Cities Park, being undertaken in partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, is from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the State Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Park renovations have been designed by DIGSAU, Pennoni Engineers, Inc. and Studio Bryan Hanes. Site clearance work will be performed by Tony DePaul and Son, Inc. in conjunction with historical survey work by CHRS, Inc.
The Center City District is a private-sector sponsored business improvement district dedicated to making Center City Philadelphia clean, safe and attractive. The Center City District is committed to maintaining Center City’s competitive edge as a regional employment center, a quality place to live and a premier regional destination for dining, shopping and cultural attractions.