The Friends of Bainbridge Green are looking to reclaim the strip of land that runs down the middle of Bainbridge Street between 3rd Street and 5th Street, as we’ve told you a few times before. We’ve previously explained that this strip of land exists as a remnant of Bainbridge Market, an outdoor collection of stalls shut down by the City around the time of World War I due to unsanitary conditions. The area was landscaped after the market closed down, and parking spaces were cut into the median, probably in the 1960s or 1970s.
Bainbridge Green would create a large public green space in the median, reducing the traffic lanes down to one in each direction on Bainbridge Street. New sidewalk bumpouts would increase pedestrian safety. In addition, the park would close the weird gap where Passyunk Avenue crossed Bainbridge Street as well as the rarely traveled space in front of the PNC Bank at the southeast corner of 5th & Bainbridge. Here’s a site plan, to show what we’re talking about.
Speaking of that PNC Bank, we stopped there the other day to grab some change, and noticed the 5th Street Plaza Pop-Up at the western end of what will eventually become Bainbridge Green. It wasn’t long ago that this patch of concrete looked pretty crappy.
A couple months back, a group of volunteers worked together to dramatically improve this patch of land. If you visit today, you’ll find a welcoming public space which accommodates cafe tables, additional seating, new planters, and a mural on the sidewalk.
Kudos to the Friends of Bainbridge Green for transforming this worn out space into something that the community can now enjoy in a much more complete fashion. If this is a preview of their work for the rest of Bainbridge Green, then it’s a strong indication that the park will be very well done and should represent a great step forward for the area. Keep up the good work, guys.