Renderings of Fishtown’s Columbia Avenue Connector, Now With Turtles

The idea for the Columbia Avenue Connector is to provide a physical link between Fishtown and Penn Treaty Park so that people can stroll down a well-lighted Columbia Avenue, lush with trees and safe even beneath the underpass, until they reach the waterfront. A key piece of that project–sculpture and lighting by artist Donald Lipski–received unanimous final approval today from the board of directors of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. Which means that Columbia Avenue will have five bronze turtles, one wolf and one turkey.

The animals are in tribute to the Lenni Lenape clans, with whom William Penn brokered a treaty. The turtles will anchor five lights, while the wolf and turkey will perch (do wolves perch) atop two other lights. The streetscaping improvements have been conceived by landscape architect Bryan Haynes, who also designed Sister Cities Park and the Penn Treaty Park master plan.

The project is also getting $60,000 in support from a National Endowment for the Arts grant.