Downtown Philadelphia will debut its newest cultural space this fall: an unlikely arts venue, marketplace, bar, and public park set inside a converted 99-year-old maritime warehouse. Cherry Street Pier, designed by Groundswell Design Group and Interface Studio Architects, will open on October 12 at Pier 9 along the Delaware River. The $5-million project will transform the 55,000-square-foot municipal structure into a mixed-use waterfront destination and studio facility for 14 local artists. Located south of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the Race Street Pier, the long-neglected, 19th-century building has undergone major renovation work over the last year. The project, dreamed up by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC), aims to introduce a new space for civic engagement as well as a collaborative home for the city’s visionary artists and entrepreneurs. The group announced Wednesday that the park will open ahead of the three-week arts celebration, Festival for the People, put on by the Philadelphia Contemporary. According to Philly Magazine, DRWC president Joe Forkin said that the Cherry Street Pier will serve as a foundation for the arts to flourish along the city’s waterfront. The historic building will house affordable studios and offices for emerging artists within repurposed shipping containers featuring glass walls. Community members and visitors to the dock can peer inside the studio spaces—dubbed the Garage— and watch the artists at work throughout the day. Tenants will be able to showcase their art in a 10,800-square-foot open space dedicated to large-scale art installations and performances. The site will also include room for a pop-up retail market, public events, and food vendors. A café and bar are being built for the open-air garden at the edge of the facility. The architects will peel back the roof of the warehouse in this section, exposing the steel trusses and stone masonry to reveal the historic structure’s core and unveil a unique perspective of the river. Wood benches, railings, plants, and trees will fill the space so people can relax and enjoy one another’s company.
Posts tagged with "Delaware River Waterfront Corporation":
Just a few months after Philadelphia’s hugely popular, but temporary, Spruce Street Harbor Park closed up shop, the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest has opened in its place. The new space, which is open until March 1st, was commissioned by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation and designed by the New Jersey–based Groundswell Design Group, the same team behind the Winterfest's summertime predecessor. The Winterfest is so overflowing with wintertime amenities that it appears less like a pop-up park and more like an idyllic backdrop for some Christmas-time romantic comedy. There is a regulation-size ice skating rink, a bar with craft beers and spiked drinks, fire pits, a restaurant, a holiday market, and heated tents known as “The Lodge.” Shipping containers from the Harbor Park have been repurposed into Winterfest stores, and lights strung up over the summer were programmed into a brand new light show that plays every half hour. Set within the Winterfest is also a winter garden that Groundswell’s David Fierabend created “with hundreds of holiday trees and shrubs, woodchips, rustic furniture, market lights and fire pits,” according to the DRWC.
Plans for Penn's Landing have been floating around for several years now, but at a public meeting in Philadelphia last month, they finally began to crystallize. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC), which oversees the 6 to 7 mile strip of waterfront property outlined in the Central Delaware Master Plan, has hired Hargreaves Associates—the firm responsible for the overhaul of Houston and Louisville's waterfronts—to revive the deserted stretch along the Delaware River. New renderings revealed at the event connect Old City to the waterfront with a large promenade park featuring green space, mixed-use residential and retail buildings, and an expansion of the existing South Street Pedestrian Bridge. Mary Margaret Jones, a senior principal at Hargreaves Associates, gave the audience a more in-depth look at solidified ideas for the waterfront, some of which were proposed when the firm received the Penn’s Landing design commission last spring. Plans show extensive work on the site with hope its transformation will “unlock the potential of the Delaware.” Along the expanse of the waterway property, green space and public practicality are emphasized. At the south end, the South Street Pedestrian Bridge, further developed as an arched suspension bridge that spans the highway, provides access to a new Pier Park with a waterside café, gardens, and large multi-use plaza. Further north, near the built Hyatt Hotel, Basin Park, a green space encouraging the sailing use of the Delaware River, will include a boat slip and boathouse, and a possible swimming pool on a floating barge. Midway through the promenade, Hargreaves plans Penn’s Landing Park as a green cap over waterfront parallel roadways, decreasing in grade as it slopes toward the water. It will provide event space with an 850-seat amphitheater, urban gardens, a dog park, and the possibility for outdoor art galleries within its plazas. Trails run throughout the promenade plan and at the north end near Market Street, proposed mixed-use residential and retail buildings could commercialize the public space, as well. Both Hargreaves and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation have expressed their excitement about the plan to connect the city of Philadelphia with its riverfront in a significant way. The main concern, however, is that this ambitious scheme needs funding and it presently has none. “We are doing some creative thinking in how to finance this, but we're not ready to talk about it yet,” commented Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and DRWC Board Member Alan Greenberger at the meeting. Current Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will leave office in 2016. Without a more solid monetary foundation, and soon, there is a possibility that the new vision could fall flat under future administration.