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Center City District Parks & Plazas

About the Park

Park History
The inspiration for the renovatoion of this park is the Wissahickon Valley, a picturesque wooded gorge extending seven miles along Wissahickon Creek in the northwestern section of Philadelphia. 

In 2010, while preparing for the renovation of Sister Cities Park, archaeologists uncovered approximately 60 remnants of graves, thought to be from the early 19th century when the area was known as Northwest Square and served as a potter's field and graveyard. 

For three weeks in the summer of 1864, Logan Square served as the grounds for the United States Sanitary Commission's Great Central Fair. All sales and proceeds from the Fair were used to provide care and supplies to Union soldiers during the Civil War. The Sanitary Commission was the precursor to the American Red Cross.

Philadelphia's Sister Cities Program
Today’s Sister Cities Park was dedicated in 1976 in recognition of Philadelphia's commitment to the international Sister Cities program. Like the international flags that are on display along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, this park celebrates Philadelphia's commitment to strengthening global economic ties and cultural understanding. Philadelphia's first two sister cities were Florence, Italy, and Tel Aviv, Israel. They now include: Torun, Poland; Tianjin, China; Incheon, Korea; Douala, Cameroon; Nizhny Novgorod Russia; Kobe, Japan; Aix-en-Provence, France and Abruzzo, Italy. For more information on the program visit: www.ivc.org/sister_cities.

Sustainable Initiatives
Sustainable design is incorporated throughout the park. The café’s green roof, coupled with geothermal technologies, help moderate temperature extremes in the building as well as reduce storm water runoff. The roof, along with the native vegetation in the park helps reduce air temperature, smog and dust. 

Funding
Funding for the renovation of Sister Cities Park was made possible by support 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.

Sister Cities Park is managed and maintained by the Center City District.

Program Partners include:

Related Information

Location
18th Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Hours
Open 7 days a week, 6 am – 1 am

Calendar of Events
See what's happening today!

Transportation and Parking:
Parking:  There is on-street kiosk parking
nearby
Public Transportation:  Near SEPTA bus
routes 32, 33, and 38. By regional rail, the
park is located just 4 blocks from Suburban
Station

For information about holding your event
in Sister Cities Park, or for complete rental
information, contact Center City District
at 215.440.5500.