Building has long been the word in Northern Liberties, where you'd struggle to throw a football from any down and hit a vacant lot nowadays. With all the new building has come all sort of new retail. Now, at least for a brief moment, the word is park. Park, not parking. Liberty Lands park at 3rd & Poplar is one of two Northern Liberties parks slated for improvements. Cement Park, a few blocks south, is the other. Just a block beyond the North 2nd Street corridor near the Piazza, Liberty Lands is an almost block-long sized enclave tucked in among a wave of redevelopment that seems to keep rising.
At Liberty Lands the improvements are aesthetic in nature, compared to at Cement Park, where stormwater infrastructure will be part of a new design. Improvements to Liberty Lands will bring new benches with backrests, for those of you who may fall backwards off a bench, a new gate for toddlers, plus a new foundation for the old stage, which had rotted, according to the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association website. Simple improvements.
Nearby, during the past two years, the northwest intersection at 5th & Poplar went from hosting an old warehouse to Pressman Commons, a project that razed the warehouse and built 21 new single-family homes. And directly across the street from that a group of new homes was built. Last summer, we wrote about 60 new homes that should be coming online in this little area between this time and next spring. Numbers like that make us think a there's room for a whole new park. But this seems like as good a time as any to mention that the only reason Northern Liberties has its two parks- Liberty Lands and Orianna Hill- is because both are community-built and community-owned.