We've commented a few times that the new Penn Herb building is essentially the gateway into Northern Liberties, and we therefore wish it were a little taller and more striking architecturally. The flaw to our argument is that Penn Herb isn't actually the gateway to the neighborhood since you have to walk through Doughboy Park before you get to it. This little green space, also known as Madison Memorial Park, was renovated a few years ago and is quite welcoming despite a lack of shade and the fact that it sits right next to I-95.
The Doughboy statue in the foreground of the image above is, of course, the source of this park's moniker, and it's got a fascinating history. The book Northern Liberties: The Story of a Philadelphia River Ward, published in 2012 and available for purchase on Amazon, provides great details. Sculpted by John Paulding, the name of the statue is "Over the Top," and it was dedicated in 1920 as a memorial for deceased World War I soldiers from the area. It was originally located at 5th & Buttonwood, but redevelopment moved it to 17th & Spring Garden before the Northern Liberties community worked to bring it to 2nd & Spring Garden in 1981.
As the statue is now approaching its 100th birthday, it needs a wee bit of TLC and that's where Northern Liberties Neighbors Association comes in. They're raising funds to repair and clean the statue, replace a stolen bronze plaque with hundreds of solider names, apply a protective coating to the statue, and maintain the park in the years to come. Transport Workers Local 234 has pledged $2,500 to this cause, and the NLNA has a GoFundMe page looking to raise an additional $4,500.
If you'd like to make a donation to help with this effort, click here.