The Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation has invested serious time and money into refreshing the “singing fountain” at East Passyunk Ave. and Tasker St. Locals have seen gradual renovations since mid-April: the removal of a less than attractive fence, newly planted trees, and the restoration of tile and marble on fountain itself. PARC executive director Sam Sherman has organized a complete rededication of the fountain, built less than a decade ago where a cheesesteak shop once stood.
PARC has invested $60,000 in refurbishing the fountain, installing chess tables, new benches made by the manufacturers of those in Central Park, and hiring a security detail to protect the fountain at night from drunken weekenders and mischievous kids. Will the fountain still sing? Another addition includes a iPod port, accessible to some of East Passyunk’s restaurants.
Aside from sprucing up East Passyunk Ave., the work done on the fountain has given a great deal of business to the local community. Urban Jungle, Cava Stone and Marble, local electrician Joe Marducci and a local cleaning crew helped make this project possible. To celebrate the occasion and show off the completed project, PARC will host a block party on June 23 at 8pm. Instead of a ribbon cutting, new LED lighting from surrounding buildings will make their first triumphant appearance. Nearby eateries Izumi and Paradiso will provide the food and drink.
PARC, a re-conceived Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods, is trying to build on the good things that the organization did for the neighborhood in the past while reestablishing the organization’s reputation in the community after two years of scandal. Other recent PARC renovations have been seen at Black ‘n Brew: a new coat of paint, hanging flowers and window boxes, and upgraded air conditioning. Keep an eye out for more of their work at Karina’s, an italian restaurant on the avenue. If their short track record is any indication, we expect that PARC will continue to do the little things as well as the big things to help make Passyunk Avenue even better for neighbors and visitors alike. –Suzy Grimberg