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Philadelphia Waterfront’s New Addition, Pier 68

space-and-company-philadelphia-pier-68-1BY MICHAEL GARDEN (www.michael.searchphillylistings.com)
 
The Philadelphia waterfront seems to be getting better every day. As a slight against our city’s past failure to recognize the asset that the Delaware is, a friend once pointed out that we have the only waterfront Walmart in North America. Thanks to the vision and hard work of the DRWC, great steps have been made to reconnect our city to our eastern riverfront. Installing parks, new condominiums, and businesses is making the waterfront more of a destination. Following projects such as Penn Treaty Park, Race St Pier and Spruce Street Harbor Park, Pier 68 opened earlier this month with a fresh look of the riverfront as public space.
 
 
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This is a park that was overgrown and practically abandoned for many years, but was still often occupied by people from the area with no other easy river access. Now, this same area is all cleaned up and has become a destination. Beautifully constructed benches, paved walkways, and even catch and release fishing now fills this space. Designed by Studio Bryan Hanes, a landscape architecture and urban design firm that has designed such places as Clark Park, portions of The Porch at 30th St Station and Phase I of the Rail Park, which is slated to break ground in 2016. More on that subject later….
 
Something that really stands out about this park is its location. Accessible through the Columbus Crossing Shopping Center in South Philadelphia, Pier 70 Blvd dead ends right into the new Pier 68 Park. There is plenty of parking, as this shopping center is home to such stores as Walmart and Home Depot. Pier 68 is not visible from Columbus Blvd, as the aforementioned parks are. It is a place that you will enjoy discovering. The vibe and the quietness here really makes you feel like you’ve escaped the city.
 
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The color scheme of the park, from its entrance poles to the its trash cans is blue and white, creating a very nautical feel. The benches, also painted blue and white, are built in ergonomic wave-like forms. The center of the pier has been cut away to show the rise and fall of the tide of the Delaware River. It’s a beautiful and rare addition to this park’s maritime design.
 
I recommend taking advantage of the amazing autumn weather we’ve been having and escaping to this newest addition to the waterfront. The more we use these new riverfront assets, the more DWRC will be likely to keep creating riparian public spaces.
 
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