Almost all traces of Triangle Park on the border of Bella Vista and Queen Village have been eliminated from the lot at 6th, Passyunk and Christian. Only a few small trees remained yesterday.
Joel Palmer, the founder of the Friends of Triangle Park group, posted the news on the organization’s Facebook page on Sunday. But it appeared that he wasn’t ready to give up the fight.
The park has been erased by the owner; what hundreds of folks, and several thousand volunteer hours created, is gone; if this makes you sad or angry, you can do something about it. please call or write to Mayor Nutter and Councilman Squilla and ask for their support (both have been supportive of the Park and are working with the friends of Triangle Park and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) on ways to acquire it). Let them know the depth of community support for this green space!
The saga of this little piece of land goes back to at least 2006, when neighbors set about turning the forlorn lot – a former gas station – into a neighborhood green space. Neighbors also got city officials involved, and they were well on their way to turning this pop-up into a permanent park.
Then the fencing went up.
According to this PlanPhilly story from last April, owner Stuart Schlaffman was on board with allowing the land to stay a park:
“I didn’t mind them using the property,” Schlaffman said. “I’m all for them purchasing this property and have them turn it into a park.” Still, Schlaffman said he was motivated to put up the fence because he believes the entire lot will have to be excavated to remove contamination left by the gas station’s subterranean fuel tanks. He added that “prospective buyers” were reticent to move on the property because it looks like a community park. He said two interested parties considered the lot but were put off by its appearance.
He said he had received what he called a fair offer from the the city Redevelopment Authority but it appears the deal was never signed due to a dispute over environmental remediation.
Now, there’s no park, and a real-estate listing says the lot is going for $250,000, down from $319,000.
We reached out to Schlaffman and the folks from the friends group late last night to find out more information. We’ll update when we hear back.