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Conceptual renderings unveiled for Headhouse Square improvements

Headhouse Square, the area of 2nd Street between Lombard and South, could be seeing some improvements in the future including more greenery, the addition of two buildings and more.


Rendering from Philly Mag.

Last summer, the fountain was updated, now these conceptual plans show a lot more improvements that could be coming to the space.

More from Property:

The idea is to create a more flexible space that acts as a gateway through the plaza and into the Shambles, creating the larger, and better connected, Headhouse Square. “We utilize that space a lot, but it’s not particularly attractive,” said Harris, referring to the downtrodden stretch from South Street to Lombard Street. The top priority of the project would be to improve the overall safety of what amounts to a parking lot. That means better lighting (possibly cable lighting to create a “plaza effect”) and the implementation of a design aimed at calming traffic (buffers, curbs, etc.) in the area to make it safer for bicycle riders and pedestrians, alike.

Hoping to create the presence of a gateway, the first building at South Street is more of a shade structure during the day and well-lit pavilion at night. Early designs show it could possibly become the shelter for the Indego Bike Share station and Harris said it could have a “band shell” type usage for live entertainment during one of their many events.

The cracked and crusty median would be leveled and replaced with a pathway that leads through the plaza, preserving the well-designed axis and access of the original layout. There would still be dedicated parking spaces, but it would be a far cry from the Wawa parking lot we’ve all come to know over the years. Early plans whittle the number of spaces from 44 down to about 28, though that number could change, and it would be easier to make it a no parking zone during events. As Rich Villa, partner at Ambit Architecture put it, they’re essentially creating “a removable parking lot.”

The second building being proposed for Headhouse Square would provide a place to get some shade and could be a coffee shop or cafe, along with an information center.

This project is pretty early in the development stages, but what do you think of these plans so far?

You can check out the rest of the renderings on Philly Mag’s Property blog.

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4 Responses to Conceptual renderings unveiled for Headhouse Square improvements

  1. spf5000 July 31, 2015 at 11:41 am #


  2. Cat August 1, 2015 at 10:28 am #

    Will they keep the current outdoor market stall structure? It would be a shame if they got rid of that.

    • Albert Stumm August 1, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

      Yes, that brick columned area known as The Shambles will saty

  3. R2 August 3, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

    Meh…I hope we can see some serious improvements on this design…lot’s more greenspace for one. Are structures really needed? And since when do we need more retail space created (a coffee shop?) – this isn’t the parkway, where you could argue that building space for a new cafe made sense. This is South and 2nd – there is a glut of underutilized retail space in the vicinity. I applaud the effort to improve the streetscape, but if it’s done right and draws more pedestrians, the retail services will find a way to serve them.

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