New Mural Planned for Girard Avenue Bridge

While it’s the still in the preliminary stages, the Girard Avenue bridge that stretches over the Schuylkill River and connects West Philly to Lemon Hill at Fairmount Park may soon be transformed into one of Philadelphia's most visible murals, a Mural Arts spokesperson confirmed.

View of the bridge at dusk

Created via a pair of murals, the design envisioned by Jonathan Laidacker, who has painted various murals in Mt. Airy and Germantown, would pay homage to Philadelphia's rich rowing tradition and point to nearby Eakins Park, Plan Philly reported.

Another look

Early tidbits of the proposal were aired during the first meeting of the Art Commission this year, on January 8th. The Commission approved the plan as well as proposals for Pier 53, which broke ground last fall, and the major Whole Foods development at Rodin Square.

You may recall this past summer crossing the Girard Ave. bridge during rush hour was far from pleasant, as traffic was fattened by improvements to the Philadelphia Zoo. Those improvements paved Girard Ave. west as you approach the bridge, constructed a new bike and pedestrian path on the west side of the river, erected a new parking garage, and fabricated a new gateway down 34th Street into University City at the corner of 34th & Girard which featured public art and refined the entranceway to the Zoo.

So while it may be a project that is perhaps still a season or two away, legs are running towards creating a mural that will in a sense serve as hello and goodbye to drivers coming to and leaving town on I-76. We'll share details if and when they emerge over the next few months.