If it feels like we’re still basking in the glow of the recent groundbreaking for the Park at Penn’s Landing, it’s because we most certainly are. It was only a few weeks ago that we took you to the groundbreaking for this long-awaited park, excited for what the future would bring to Old City and the waterfront across from the new 11.5-acre site. Let’s quickly scope out the plans from HargreavesJones and KieranTimberlake as a reminder of what’s coming to Penn’s Landing.
Pretty darn cool, to put it mildly. And since then, plenty of progress has been made. A new construction timeline was announced, with demolition slated to begin any moment. While we initially had hopes that the park would be ready for the semiquincentennial celebration/World Cup in 2026, it turns out that the cap won’t even be completed until 2028, with the memorials and landscaping coming afterward. We’ve never had to landscape 11+ acres before, but we’d imagine that this could take a year by itself. But despite this timeline, we were very encouraged to find materials already on the site and the Walnut Street bridge already closed off.
Additionally, thanks to a presentation to the Art Commission, we have a better idea of what the park will look like, at least on the periphery. First off: it seems as if the name has been flipped from the Park at Penn’s Landing to Penn’s Landing Park. Secondly, we have several more renderings of what the signage around the park will look like, with a clean, modern look creating a subtle entrance, allowing the landscape to be the star.
But that’s far from the only news for this neck of the woods. Before the demolition of the cap can begin, there is the matter of moving the memorials that currently sit over the highway. Both the Irish Memorial and the Scottish Memorial reside on the walled off park, but there are plans for a new temporary location before they make their way back to the Park once the new cap gets built.
Those plans bring us back to a spot we checked out in March, Foglietta Plaza, which sits just a couple blocks south of the future park. A recent meeting of the Society Hill Civic Association provided us with a big update: these memorials will be relocated temporarily to the far SW corner of the plaza, which is a forgettable grassy area behind the out-of-service bathrooms.
Excitingly, even though this will only be a temporary installation, the renderings from Pennoni look pretty nice from what we can tell. This corner will be totally reimagined from its current state, with landscaping helping soften the sculptures. An understated lighting scheme will mimic its surroundings, helping this part of the plaza blend in as opposed to stand out.
Exciting, right? We love seeing real, tangible progress here, as the years and years (and years and years) of waiting have left us wondering if we would ever see this come to life. And is there any better way to kick off Red October than that? GO PHILS!