2014 has been quite a generous year in the life of Philadelphia’s public space. Several high-profile, fun, and ephemeral spaces were launched to great fanfare. 4 beer gardens, including Independence Hall Beer Garden at the base of the Rohm & Haas building, Spruce Street Harbor Park, the PHS Pop Up garden on South Street and The Oval in front of the Art Museum all breathed new life into what had been underwhelming existing spaces. Dilworth Park opened in early September, and most recently the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk reconnected us to the “Hidden River.”
Philadelphia occupies an enviable position of having two rivers that grace our city. Both are quite different in character, and though the Delaware has been the focus of some great interventions in the public space like Spruce Street Harbor Park and Washington Avenue Pier, the Schuylkill has recaptured our attention with today's grand opening of the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk. This long sought after intervention extends the Schuylkill River Trail from Locust Street to the South Street Bridge. 2,000+ feet of cement and steel have been laid with pilings bored deep in the earth. As we noted in a post earlier this year, this Boardwalk has been engineered for durability and should grace our city for a very long time.