Dilworth Plaza — once an ugly, gray expanse of concrete that was as miserable a piece of urban public-space design as any in Philadelphia — will re-open in September, unveiling its renovations in a three-day celebration.
The park, located on the west side of city hall, will include a public space for 400 benches and chairs, a large lawn, tree groves and a fountain.
The new park will also link the Avenue of the Arts with the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and connect the office district with Market East destinations. It will also provide new entrances to SEPTA trains and trolleys and make the Market Street Line as well as subway surface lines accessible by elevator.
Dilworth Park offers a further summation at its website:
Dilworth Park is being transformed from an inaccessible, multi-level, hard-surface plaza into a sustainable, well-maintained, green public space without stairs or barriers from the street. By covering existing openings and removing unnecessary walls, steps and barriers, the renovated Dilworth Park will have 20,571 square feet of new useable area (an increase of 21%) resulting in an expanded 120,557-square-foot public space. There will be a large lawn, tree groves, a programmable fountain and space for 400 benches and chairs. The underground is being dramatically improved as a new transit gateway, providing entrances to Broad Street and Market Street subways and the trolley lines. New elevators will make the transit levels accessible for the first time.
City, state, and federal governments picked up most of the bill for the reconstruction; private donors added $15 million.
Previously: Interview: Paul Levy Gets Big Things Done