Market Street Bridge Looking Greener These Days

Over the weekend, we made an early-morning trip to Trader Joe's (no lines before 9am on a Sunday!) and afterward we decided to take a detour through West Philly to see whether we could stumble upon any theretofore unknown construction. We sadly came up empty on the construction front, but we did spy something exciting and at the very least new to us. Crossing the Schuylkill via the Market Street Bridge, we discovered a collection of planters on both sides of the bridge, and four pergolas to boot.

Planters in the foreground along with the two newest Cira buildings plus the IRS building

North side of Market Street, looking east toward Center City

Greenery plus 30th Street Station and the original Cira Centre

Thousands of people cross this bridge every day, and these planters surely make the trip a little more pleasant. But where did they come from? When did they arrive on the scene?

It came as no surprise when we learned that University City District, through their Green City Works department, was the driving force behind the planters. According to an article from Flying Kite Media, the planters were installed shortly before the pope came to Philadelphia (yeah, we don't know how we missed this for six months) and resulted from a partnership between partnership between UCD, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC), Center City District (CCD) and Groundswell Design. Frank's Kitchens, a design and fabrication collaborative in Kensington, built the planters.

New green space is quickly becoming the rule in this area. Remember, the Porch opened a few years ago, bringing planters, food trucks, and activity to the south side of 30th Street Station. A year and a half ago, a green space arrived next door to the IRS building. For so many years, this area was almost exclusively dedicated to cars and trains, it's a welcome sight that pedestrians are finally getting some real consideration.