Alan Greenberger chairs newly appointed Art Commission

A neglected, graffitied, 180-year-old marble obelisk called the Newkirk Monument will be relocated from its current hidden home along an Amtrak rail line in Southwest Philly to Bartram’s Mile on the Schuylkill River Trail, a move that the Art Commission approved Wednesday morning.

The monument to an early work of railroad infrastructure was created in 1839, and at some point was mysteriously moved from its original location, according to the back story from Hidden City. The reason for the move is “lost in time,” said Nancy O’Donnell, capital projects manager for Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. It’s now owned by Amtrak, which is planning to donate it to the city. It will be restored by Materials Conservation Co. and given a permanent home on Bartram’s Mile.

The Art Commission also voted to give conceptual approval for planned renovations of Markward at Schuylkill River Park, a small playground in Fitler Square. Ground Reconsidered has completed a new landscape design for the playground, which will be upgraded with new paving and furniture. 

Some new faces ringed the Art Commission conference table Wednesday morning. One belonged to Alan Greenberger, who apparently didn’t get his fill during the better part of a  decade of meetings on the 18th floor of the municipal building at 1515 Arch Street as chair of the Planning Commission. Other new appointees include:

  • Joe Laragione, a painter

  • Robert Roesch, a sculptor

  • Carmen Febo San Miguel, of Taller Puertorriqueño

  • Mario Zacharjasz, of PZS Architects

  • Jose Almiñana, a landscape architect with Andropogon

  • Matthew Perks, a lawyer who serves on the Parks and Recreation Commission

  • John Herzins, of the Department of Public Property

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