Penn Park is Totally Awesome Yet Challenging to Enter

Penn Park, the new $46.5M outdoor space located between railroad tracks and railroad tracks on the eastern end of Penn’s campus, officially opened last week to much fanfare. The park, covering 24 acres and designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, contains play areas for both formal, organized sport, and informal play. There are also welcoming public spaces, new views of the city, and perhaps the greenest grass in Philadelphia. We took a stroll down there and were really impressed with what we saw.

Our one suggestion: Have a plan for getting down there if you plan to visit. Because the park is surrounded by train tracks, it can be a little tricky to find a way into the park if you don’t already know how. There are various weird ramps, staircases and bridges that provide access to the park, like the ramp that we used on Walnut St. that has wonderful views of I-76.

From above
Still up on Walnut St.
Walnut St. ramp is on the left. It leads to a staircase that goes into the park
Map in the park. South is up, and north is down. Confusing.
Huge sports field with artificial turf. We think it has a bubble for the winter months.
Took a few steps onto the field. Looks like the practice field for the football team, among other things
Another field, directly to the west of the first field. Also huge.
The same field, with a view of the skyline. Also, the ramp and stairs we used to get to the park.
Looking back over at the first field, with the high line, Franklin Field, and a hospital building in the background
A little further south, a super fancy softball field
Another look, nice skyline view
Handsome landscaping
Lots of new tennis courts
Seriously
Bridge that leads to a parking lot next to the Penn Athletics building in the middle of the South St. Bridge

 

More attractive landscaping
A final skyline view