Go to most of the neighborhoods surrounding Center City, and you’ll find a healthy number of green spaces that are open to the public. Graduate Hospital, until very recently, has been more or less bereft of public green space, with the nearly complete Julian Abele Park representing a very new addition to the neighborhood. And with the rapid development of almost every vacant lot in the neighborhood, opportunities for additional green space are rapidly dwindling. With that in mind, SOSNA is attempting to preserve the corner of 17th & Carpenter, one of the few remaining large vacant parcels in the neighborhood, as Carpenter Green.
Owned for years by the Redevelopment Authority, this lot has sat vacant for as long as we can remember. And with the redevelopment of another long-vacant City-owned lot across the street into Carpenter Square, there’s a real concern that this parcel could also be sold for private development and the community could lose out on one its last hopes for additional green space.
According to City Paper, SOSNA is actively working with their district councilperson to gain support to establish a park here. In preliminary conversations, it seems that the PRA is strongly considering the possibility. Perhaps the best case that SOSNA can make to the City is their willingness to raise money from the community to make this park a reality rather than only relying on government funds. This group has shown tremendous fundraising capability in the past, notably raising over $100K for the creation of the adorable Catharine Park.
Here’s wishing the neighborhood lots of luck in getting a new green space sometime very soon. We’re confident it won’t be an easy road to get there, but we’re optimistic that SOSNA will do what it takes to get the job done.