New Pier 53 park would include 55-foot glow-in-the-dark tower

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation unveiled its proposal this weekend for a new park to be built on Pier 53 at the foot of Washington Avenue.

Plan Philly had the renderings.

The park proposal includes a 55-foot tower that would have a lookout at 16 feet and a slender “phosphorescent glass cylinder” that would glow through the night.

One of the renderings included quite a wistful description of the sculpture, called “Land Buoy”:

Land Buoy is both a beacon and wind monitor. It tracks the currents of the sky with a “sail” whose action produces a deep, haunting sound. When the wind is calm, the buoy is silent, waiting. Inside the mesh skin a spiral stair, tapering off at 16 feet, provides a protected “bird in the trees” view of land and sea. The central column supporting the stairs becomes an illuminated light column around which a sail device spins, tracking wind currents.



This park would be behind the existing Washington Avenue Green and allow visitors to lounge, stroll, fish and actually touch the water. Another, smaller sculpture in WAG would mark the way toward the pier.

One issue: the sculptures, by artist Jody Pinto, aren’t yet funded, so we’ll see if they make it into the final design.

This is the gateway sculpture proposed for Columbus Blvd.
This is the gateway sculpture proposed for Columbus Blvd.

Planners hope to start construction by September and open next May or June.

Read the Plan Philly story for all the details.

3 thoughts on “New Pier 53 park would include 55-foot glow-in-the-dark tower

  • April 30, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I’m all in favor of parks and redeveloping Penns Landing/the waterfront area, but I’m really not in favor of anything that adds more light pollution.

    • April 30, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Between this and that Mummers Museum Monstrosity, midnight is going to look like noon down there.

  • April 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    These two towers better be a helluva lot more interesting than those boondoggles at Broad and Washington.

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