The pedestrian plaza at 23rd and South Streets will soon become a permanent fixture.
This community space was first created on a test-run, which then led to a 3-year temporary closure permit for this plaza. Due to the success of the space, a permanent proposal has been presented for the Grays Ferry Triangle.
Video rendering of the community space:
More from PlanPhilly:
Sean O’Rourke, one of the committee members and an architect at Bergmann Associates, who developed the design, highlighted some of the new features the revamped plaza would have, including stone benches made of native Wissahickon schist and cobblestone circles designed to retain more stormwater on the triangle’s surface.
The Triangles Committee handed Bergmann a few stipulations. The redesigned plaza would need to preserve roughly the same amount of flexible space for events like the Plazapalooza block party, movie nights, concerts, kids’ birthday parties and other programming. Preserving the historic horse drinking fountain, and specifically peoples’ ability to sit around it campfire-style, was also a must.
It was also important to the committee that the edges separating the plaza from South Street traffic be preserved, both for noise and safety reasons. The fountain area on corner of South Street and 23rd is currently hemmed in by trees and plants which would end up being removed in construction of the permanent plaza. The fountain would be moved slightly toward the middle of the plaza, though not by a noticeable amount.
The Triangles committee also requested more tree cover, as the direct sunlight can be intense.
The Streets Department will still need to approve any changes made to the space. SOSNA will also need to work on raising the necessary funds for this project.
Also worth noting is the other new pedestrian space being planned in South Philly at the intersection of 12th, Morris and Passyunk.