New Look East Passyunk Avenue Gateway Set To Break Ground
It’s been over a year in the making, but East Passyunk Avenue will finally get its gateway. Sam Sherman, director of the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation, said that a groundbreaking for the project at East Passyunk Avenue and Broad and McKean Streets will take place on Wednesday, April 15 at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a reception at Palladino’s, a relatively new (and well-reviewed) steakhouse just down The Avenue from the gateway.
The design, led by Studio Bryan Hanes, has changed quite a bit since the announcement in January 2014. Gone is the water fountain/feature and also the Indego Bike Share location with it. Sherman said that the fountain “just didn’t work” and it was putting a cramp on the budget for the space. The longterm maintenance of the fountain, coupled with questions as to whether people would actually use it, caused them to scrap it from the designs.
Now, the idea is to “introduce some interest there, especially at night,” said Sherman. The ever-changing light scheme, designed by Al Borden of The Lighting Practice, the firm behind the lighting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and South Broad’s Avenue of the Arts (to name a few), will look to accomplish just that. For example, Sherman said that the pergola will be lit by LED tracks mounted to the “roof” of the structure. The Citizen’s Bank across from the new park will also have some sort of light interaction to liven up the space.
“You’ll know that it’s the gateway to East Passyunk when we’re done with it,” he said.
Albert Stumm of the Passyunk Post reports the plan is to have it completed by June, around the same time the traffic island up The Avenue at Mifflin Street will look to be completed as well. The Post also has renderings of the previous iteration, which seemed brighter and more vibrant than the newer, sleeker ones.