New Skate Park Coming to Grays Ferry Crescent

Mr. Fox

Now that Franklin Paine’s skate park is under construction and is poised to open by this summer, plans for additional skate parks have surfaced. Today, we have some info on the Grays Ferry Crescent Skate Park project, which will create a roughly 3,500 sqft skate park along the Grays Ferry Crescent. You may remember, we once took a photo-tour of this half-mile trail that runs along the east bank of the Schuylkill from 34th to Wharton Streets back when it first opened.

Location of the trail

“It’s on the top of our list right now,” said Claire Laver, executive director of Franklin Paine’s Skate Park Fund. “It’s been in the hopper for a while.” According to Laver, the park is in the final stages of being approved. It represents a collaboration between various civic and city groups including Grays Ferry Community Council, Parks and RecFifth Pocket, and Schuylkill River Development Corporation, the group that's been developing green space along the Schuylkill Banks for several years now.

Future skate park location. Image from Paine's Park website.

The goal is to complete the $45,000 project this spring. It will include skateable sculptures and will reuse some of the construction debris created from the construction of the Grays Ferry Crescent trail, as well as salvaged cobblestone from the century-old industrial buildings once situated at the location. Fabrication of the park will take three to four weeks. It will be funded by money received from a Knight Arts challenge, charitable foundations and private individuals.

A section of the park

When it opens, this will give folks additional reason to visit this somewhat isolated green space. There are plans to eventually connect it with the Schuylkill River Banks trail. That means that hopefully some day, we'll be able to bike directly from Grays Ferry to the Art Museum and straight out to the Wissahickon in Chestnut Hill. And it also means skaters will be able to easily move between Paine’s Park and this one. A shoutout to all those involved in making this happen and for paving the way for new skating spots and more functional green spaces in Philly.

--Lou Mancinelli