Linda K. Harris, Director of Communications
More information: CCD Parks and Plazas
Center City District Wins Public Spaces Award for Work on Three Parks
(September 26, 2011) The International Downtown Association (IDA), a worldwide organization that advocates for livable urban centers, has awarded the Center City District (CCD) with the IDA Merit Award, in recognition of the CCD's work on three Center City parks. The award honors the $4.57 million in improvements made by the CCD at Aviator Park and Three Parkway Plaza/Café Crét, along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and Chestnut Park, at 17th and Chestnut Streets. The renovations at these parks were funded through varied combinations of foundation grants, public funds and CCD revenues. The CCD was selected for the award from among 63 entrants.
“The Center City District is proud to be recognized, along with its many partners, for work that enhances the pedestrian experience, increases the beauty of the city, and provides more high-quality green space for visitors, workers and residents to enjoy,” said Paul R. Levy, president and CEO of the Center City District.
At Aviator Park, the new design focused on creating a “town green” sized for large and small gatherings with new walkways, perimeter sidewalks, crosswalks, and benches strategically placed to allow uninterrupted views of the Swann Fountain, Franklin Institute and nearby sculptures. The total project cost was $1.8 million dollars.
Renovations at Three Parkway Plaza included new paving, a granite seating wall, new benches, more than a dozen new trees, seasonal flowers, a new underground irrigation system, new pedestrian-scale lights, and a 1,200-square-foot cafe and information center with outdoor seating named after Paul Cret, one of the most influential individuals in Philadelphia architecture. This project cost $2.33 million.
At Chestnut Park, the original gates created by artist Christopher T. Ray were carefully conserved and a unique woven metal fencing system was fabricated and installed to complement the sculptures. A concrete tiered fountain was rehabilitated and care was taken to supplement the park landscape with plants, shrubs and trees indigenous to the city’s Wissahickon and Delaware Valleys. This renovation cost $440,000.
The CCD’s partners in these projects include the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Fairmount Park Art Association, the Fairmount Park Commission (now the Department of Parks & Recreation), the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, the Parkway Council Foundation, PennDOT, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, and the William Penn Foundation.
The award was presented last week at the IDA's Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. employees.
The Center City District, a private-sector organization dedicated to making Center City Philadelphia clean, safe and attractive, is committed to maintaining Center City's competitive edge as a regional employment center, a quality place to live, and a premier regional destination for dining, shopping and cultural attractions.