Cement Park. Its name is almost the antithesis of the recent movement across the city to modernize older parks and playgrounds and transform them into green enclaves with stormwater management features. Newer parks, like Washington Avenue Green along the waterfront in South Philadelphia, are designed with this stuff in mind from the start.
Located at 704 N. 3rd St. in Northern Liberties, Cement Park — despite playground equipment and vibrant murals the name describes the scene there — is now scheduled for its modern day tuneup. A PWD representative appeared before the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association earlier this summer to present slides of possible improvements for the park. Construction is planned for next year, but planners are seeking design input now. Improvements could include elements like a new porous surface with new plantings to replace the current cement and cobblestones. The improvements are part of a larger PWD watershed project under the Green City, Clean Waters umbrella.
Cement Park is a bright space with a mural on the concrete beneath the water element and an animated mural on the large wall next door. When we stopped to take a quick photo in last week, numerous youngsters were rambling about. Hopefully, the planned improvements will be finished by the time the weather warms up next year or else the PWD will have to face the wrath of the kids pictured above.
We've been covering so much residential and mixed-use development in Northern Liberties that it's nice to see another project, be it a small one, to improve the local infrastructure. As it were, this is the first of two park improvements planned for Northern Liberties, the other being to the larger Liberty Lands park just two blocks north of 3rd & Poplar. And with dozens of new units coming nearby via the renovation of the old Trans-Atlantic warehouse and some new homes coming as part of that project, one can imagine Cement Park might have some new traffic soon, certainly after the improvements to the park are finished.