Pulse is a unique and interactive public art experience that is certain to become an iconic part of Philadelphia’s public landscape.
The first phase of Janet Echelman’s innovative and immersive work of public art opened September 2018 and is being enjoyed by more than 30,000 people who visit Dilworth Park each weekday. Phase I—the green line—follows the trolley route that runs beneath the park.
You can help us add the orange Broad Street Line and blue Market-Frankford Line to complete this new defining element of the Dilworth Park experience by making a gift online or by contacting Katie Andrews at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.440.5529.
Janet Echelman combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create artworks that have become focal points on five continents in cities from Singapore, Sydney, Shanghai and Santiago to Beijing, Boston, New York and London. Recipient of the Guggenheim, Fulbright, Harvard University Loeb, and Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowships, Echelman was named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.”
Echelman received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in Visual Arts, honoring “the greatest innovators in America today,” and her TED Talk Taking Imagination Seriously has been translated into 35 languages with more than two million views worldwide. Oprah’s list of “50 Things That Make You Say Wow!” ranked Echelman’s art No. 1.
The Center City District redesigned and completely reconstructed Dilworth Park, opening this new civic commons in the fall of 2014. People of all ages and from all walks of life arrive by transit or on foot to enjoy free concerts, dance events, movies, exercise classes, to ice-skate, grab a bite to eat, or just relax and watch children playing in the fountain.
Positioned at the center of region’s transportation system—entered through signature glass headhouses—Dilworth Park provides a gateway to universities, the sports complex and the regional rail connections to all of southeastern Pennsylvania. More than 10 million people visit the park annually.
Support of Pulse—with permanent, year-round recognition opportunities—offers extensive exposure to an average of 30,000 pedestrians per day and demonstrates a commitment to animating the city’s historic center square and improving the quality of life for everyone living, working or visiting Philadelphia.
Pulse is embedded within one of the most popular components of Dilworth Park—the 11,600 square-foot fountain. The fountain features programmable jets that create a dancing water display and interact with the artwork. The scrim of water on the fountain surface not only reflects the ornamented façade of City Hall, but also creates a mirror for Pulse, making the artwork an even more enveloping and immersive experience.
Inspired by Center Square’s history as Philadelphia’s transportation hub and home of the first steam-powered waterworks, Pulse traces in the surface of the fountain the paths of the subway and trolley lines that converge beneath Dilworth Park. As SEPTA trains pass below, four-foot-tall curtains of vibrantly illuminated mist travel across the park fountain’s surface signaling the train’s movement.
A celebration of the location’s rich past, Pulse uses cutting-edge technology to create a living X-ray of the city’s circulatory system with ethereal fog layered in vibrant undulating color, producing what the artist, Janet Echelman, describes as a “physical Rothko painting.”
Both children and adults walk, run and even dance through the mist, posting photos and videos on social media.
“With the successful opening of this first phase, I feel great momentum towards completion of the blue and orange lines to activate the entire park.”
--Artist Janet Echelman, creator of Pulse
The first phase of Pulse is made possible by contributions from William Penn Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; ArtPlace America; Poor Richard’s Charitable Trust; Barbara and Ted Aronson; Parkway Corporation; Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company; Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau; Henry L. Kimelman Family Foundation; George and Karen Rosskam; PNC Bank; Diversified Search; Michael J. Edwards and Erica Rockenback; George Ahern; Roger Schwab; and Bruce S. and Wendy R. Dunn.
You can help us complete Pulse by making a gift of any size today—everything helps! Generous recognition and exposure opportunities in Dilworth Park are available for leadership gifts. For more information, contact Katie Andrews, Director of Development, at email@example.com or 215.440.5529.
November 6, 2018 | Pulse by Janet Echelman and OLIN, Architecural Record
October 4, 2018 | Something strange happens at this Philly fountain when a train passes underground, Lonely Planet
September 20, 2018 | Janet Echelman’s Moving Sculpture Creates a “Living X-Ray” of Philadelphia, ArchDaily
September 19, 2018 | Reshaping The Urban Landscape With A Monumental Public Sculpture, Feel Desain
September 15, 2018 | Immersive, colorful mist curtains by Janet Echelman trace train routes in Philadelphia, designboom
September 13, 2018 | The story behind the light-colored mist in Dilworth Park’s new installation, WHYY
September 13, 2018 | 'Pulse' awakens at Dilworth Park, Metro Philadelphia
September 13, 2018 | PHOTOS: Pulse, Dilworth Park’s Misty Fountain Art Exhibit, Is Now Open, Philadelphia Magazine
September 13, 2018 | Green SEPTA mist installation 'Pulse' debuts at Dilworth Park, Philly Voice
September 12, 2018 | Dilworth Park’s new public sculpture is made of mist and light | Inga Saffron, The Philadelphia Inquirer