An Unexpected Sight: Greenery At a Construction Site

As we mentioned last month, Shake Shack is on the way at 2000 Sansom St., at the end of one of our favorite blocks in town. At the beginning of February, we noticed that the old storefronts had been covered by plywood.

In the past
Early February

In the weeks since, the workers on the site painted the plywood, making it a little less aesthetically jolting. We practically fell off our bike yesterday when we passed by and saw that the plywood walls had been altered yet again.

Whoa!
What a cool concept- though the pedestrian walking by seems unimpressed.

We’ve heard of a green roof, but a green wall? At a construction site? According to Michael Klein, the Shake Shack people hired Shift_Design, a local company that specializes in urban gardening environments with a keen eye toward contemporary design. This garden installation not only adds some character and whimsy to an otherwise unexciting plywood wall, but the touch of green on an otherwise barren corner is a welcome respite for those of us who crave all the green we can get in our urban streetscape. And don’t forget the rainwater runoff benefits!

Kudos to Shake Shack for thinking outside of the (plywood) box and making their construction site a point of pride rather than just a pain in the neck for everybody who can’t use the sidewalk.

And oh by the way, could this sort of thing be transferrable? How about urban wall gardens on some blighted buildings in Center City? And we even have a nominee for a first location!