Get Ready for The Porch 2.0


Rendering of the Porch 2.0

When the Porch opened at 30th Street Station in late 2011, it was designed to be a low-cost test run at place-making. Could some colorful chairs, planters, shade, and a rotating cast of food trucks convert what was a blah parking lot, into a gathering place where people would linger? Turns out that the answer was a resounding yes.

And now the Unviersity City District has announced plans for The Porch 2.0. With commitments from Groundswell Design Group (Spruce Street Harbor Park and Independence Beer Garden), Gehl Studio and a new food and beverages partnership with restaurateur Michael Schulson, the new Porch will make permanent the ideas tested over the previous couple of years.

Groundswell will introduce a series of tiered wooden platforms, intermingled with planters and vine canopies that offer a variety of comfortable and intimate spaces for people to relax. Decorative lighting strung above the Porch will be designed to extend the hours of the Porch till after nightfall. The upgrades will integrate with the existing plants and furniture to offer an even more inviting landscape. San Francisco’s Gehl Studio is installing colorful wooden slatted porch swings that will be distributed around the space.

Restaurateur Michael Schulson will open Rotisserie at the Porch on site. The permanent food and beverage concept will include a parked food truck with an installed rotisserie that will serve lunch seven days a week. A beverage trailer will offer beer and liquor four days a week. The food and drink experience will aim to expand the Porch’s offerings from a space for the working crowd to an animated evening spot as well.Revenue from the Rotisserie will benefit University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) program, which connects West Philadelphia employers seeking talent to West Philadelphians seeking opportunity by working within an employer-driven, jobs-first model.

The new arrangement does leave some things up-in-the-air. Specifically the longterm status of the rotating food trucks. The food truck program was suspended on May 1st and it isn’t clear if Rotisserie at the Porch will be sharing the food spotlight with any other food vendors. We’re awaiting clarification from the University City District regarding the status of food trucks at the Porch.

University City District [Official]