Today is a good one for Philadelphia’s waterfront. The William Penn Foundation has given $5 million to the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation to aid with the Master Plan for the Central Delaware. From the DRWC press release:
The funds are intended to support projects that facilitate public access to the waterfront, improve connections between neighboring communities and the river, and facilitate further public and private investment and natural resource protection.
In case $5 million doesn’t seem like a lot in the big scheme of things, the 2010 grant from the Foundation spurred investment from other sources to the tune of more than $14 million and fostered the completion of Race Street Pier and Washington Avenue Green. It also led to the beginnings of the park at Pier 53; the Delaware River trail; connector street projects at Race, Spring Garden, and Columbia, Shackamaxon, and Marlborough; work on the Festival Pier site, among other projects.
All this is important because the Central Delaware Master Plan is both the most exciting and most vital project currently on the city's horizon. After all, how can it be that Philadelphia -- a port city with a majestic river -- has so little waterfront access and waterfront engagement with the community? The Central Delaware Master Plan's implementation would change the shape of the relationship to nature, not only for residents, but for visitors as well.
So what will this $5 million do? Some of what's on the list:
Funding the construction of the permanent Delaware River Trail between Washington Avenue and Pier 70
Design for the central section of Delaware River Trail between Spring Garden St. and Washington Avenue
Design and construction of a new pier park at Pier 68 in Pennsport
Design and development of connector street amenities on Tasker St.
Phase II archeology at the West Ship Yard site at Vine St. and Delaware Avenue
Craving more information? Go to DRWC's website, which is here.