The Center City District will celebrate the groundbreaking of Sister Cities Park on Tuesday, May 10, at 12:00 noon at 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Mayor Michael A. Nutter, former Governor Edward G. Rendell, and Councilman Darrell L. Clarke will be among the featured speakers. The Friends Select choral group will perform, and the Academy of Natural Sciences, a Parkway neighbor, will bring animals.
Sister Cities Park on Logan Square will be transformed into a richly planted, well-illuminated and welcoming civic space for people of all ages as part of the $20.9 million makeover of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Since 1976, the park has commemorated Philadelphia’s relationship with cities across the globe, first with Florence, Italy, then Tel Aviv, Israel, and eventually eight more cities. The park is located in front of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul and across the street from the Four Seasons Hotel. The renovations will include an attractive new café, a new fountain that will pay tribute to the Sister Cities program and an active, educational play garden in a natural setting for young children.
The renovation of Sister Cities Park is being undertaken through a lease from the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, and with funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the William Penn Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the State Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The design team includes DIGSAU architects, Pennoni Engineers, Inc., and Studio Bryan Hanes, landscape architect.
The Center City District and its philanthropic and governmental partners have been working for over a decade to improve the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, successfully installing pedestrian, architectural façade and sculpture lighting, new directional and interpretive signage, renovating Aviator Park in front of the Franklin Institute and redesigning Three Parkway Plaza with the addition of Café Cret at16th and the Parkway.
The Sister Cities program, an initiative of Philadelphia’s International Visitors Center, links Philadelphia to the world by creating special relationships with 10 Sister Cities. In addition to Florence and Tel Aviv, the cities are Torun, Poland; Tianjin, China; Incheon, Korea; Douala, Cameroon; Nizhny Novgorod, Russia; Kobe, Japan; Aix-en-Provence, France; and the Abruzzo region of Italy.
Center City District, Public Ledger Building, 660 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, PA 10106
Linda K. Harris
Director of Communications and Publications
CENTER CITY DISTRICT
Enhancing Center City Since 1991
660 Chestnut Street
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