With change of season, parks popping up all over Philly [photos]

In Philadelphia, Memorial Day weekend is not just the unofficial start of summer, but the start of pop-up season, when temporary public parks begin popping up.

One of the most successful pop-up experiments last year was the Spruce Street Harbor Park along the Delaware River. Thousands visited the park to lounge in hammocks suspended between shade trees  and walk over a series of moored barges to have a beer while floating on the river.

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is bringing the park back, this time with a presenting sponsor – Intervest Valley Green bank – and an accompanying roller-skating rink.

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On the other side of Penn’s Landing, the Winterfest ice-skating rink has been repurposed as a Summerfest roller-skating rink.

The wintertime warming lodge, with its kitschy moosehead faux-taxidermy and skiing paraphernalia, has been redesigned with ocean-blue slipcovers, fishing poles, and nautical themes.

“It’s going to continue being the lodge. They are doing cool summer additions to it,” said DRWC spokeswoman Emma Fried-Cassorla. “So lots of antique roller skates all over the place. They are hanging canoes and kayaks from the ceiling.”

Across town, another pop-up attraction is taking shape in the Eakins Oval on the Parkway in front of the Art Museum. The multinational corporation Saint-Gobain is celebrating 350 years of making construction material by building five pavilions, “Future Sensations,” each with a different theme.

Saint-Gobain got its start in 1665, in France, when it provided the glass used in the hall of mirrors at the Palace of Versailles. Now it makes everything from gypsum drywall to parts for the Mars rover. Its North American headquarters are in Valley Forge, soon moving to Malvern.

The pavilions will use sound, light, kaleidoscopic glass, a laser show, and a three-story inflatable dome to express the company’s prowess.

“Six different stories that take you from a little kid on a luge and how that same technology helps find water on Mars, to what goes on in your home that allows your home to be more comfortable in the summer and winter,” said vice president Carmen Ferrigno.

The pavilions, opening May 30, have already been in Tokyo and São Paolo. After eight days they will be shipped to Paris. Later in the summer, the site at Eakins Oval will be used for a pop-up park called The Oval, as it has for the last two summers.

The Porch at 30th Street Station in West Philadelphia has installed landscaped seating areas on the wide sidewalk outside the train station, to be officially opened next week. Later this summer, the Philadelphia Horticultural Society will triple-down on its popular pop-up beer gardens, created three temporary parks throughout the city.

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