Capitolo Playground in Passyunk Square, is one of our favorite neighborhood parks in town, even though it was built atop a former cemetery. Now, the completion of a new mural on the playground building is a testament to one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the city. It's also one of two beautification projects planned in the neighborhood right now, with plans for another mural at 10th & Washington this winter. The mural features a collection of diverse faces, young and old, as though you were simply walking down the street in this neighborhood. That the faces have been painted on the wall, larger than life, might remind us to the simple beauty of anyone's face, the marvel that we’re even here to begin with.
As autumn appears, to rip away the fresh leaves of summer, in Passyunk Square, there's been a move the opposite way if you will, towards the green. Last month, we shared plans for improvements to Columbus Square Park, an estimated $2.8M project. Meanwhile, we've seen continued plans from developers to build wherever possible in the already very developed and residential Passyunk Square. Like the Wharton Street Lofts, a project that converted the former Annunciation BVM School into 45 new apartments. Or, new homes planned on Greenwich Street, just off Passyunk Avenue. There's also plans for a six-story building with 50 apartments at the now-demolished Armory building on South Broad Street between Federal & Wharton.
So, perhaps as new investment continues to add to the neighborhood, the will and the resources to beautify have converged. This seems to be happening in other neighborhoods as well. With this new project, conceived by artist Jonathan Laidacker, who's done murals across the city out to Germantown, the entire rec center at Capitolo Playground is now wrapped with a mural, making the area, with Pat's and Geno's and the neon signs, if possible, a little more vibrant. It's nice to see some art coming to walls where it wasn't before, and it's also kind of nice to write about something besides mixed-use buildings for a change.