Friends of the Rail Park to Host Tour Series During DesignPhiladelphia Festival
The Area in Focus Tours will highlight each section of the Three Mile Vision for the Rail Park
For the second year in a row, Friends of the Rail Park, the organization advocating for the Three Mile Vision for the Rail Park, has announced that they will be hosting a series of “Area in Focus” tours during the DesignPhiladelphia Festival on October 15 and 16. Each one and a half to two hour tour will focus on a section of the Rail Park Vision, highlighting the sites' potential to become a public space connecting Philadelphians to nature and each other.
Attendees will participate in visioning activities and have the opportunity to provide their input on the Three Mile Vision for the Rail Park. The organization will welcome special guests Bryan Hanes, Principal at Studio Bryan Hanes, and James Fennell, President of Friends of Matthias Baldwin Park, to share their expertise in park and public space design and historic preservation.
“At Friends of the Rail Park, we’re constantly getting questions about the fate of the Rail Park project and when it will expand. We want people to know that this project is alive and well, and we’re forging ahead toward crafting a collaborative vision for Phase Two,” said Rebecca Cordes Chan, Executive Director of Friends of the Rail Park. “These tours will give the public an opportunity to see the sites, learn about their history and potential, and share their own hopes and dreams for each section of the park.”
The Area in Focus Tours are free with a suggested donation of $10 per tour. Registration is open to all members of the public, but is limited in capacity. Individuals who are interested in attending can learn more and register online.
Friends of the Rail Park
Founded in 2010 after years of advocacy by a committed group of community members, Friends of the Rail Park (FRP) is the non-profit organization that drives the vision behind the transformation of historic rail lines that traverse Philadelphia into the Rail Park. FRP’s mission is to build bold, transformative, and inclusive public space that connects Philadelphia’s residents and visitors to the city and each other. Working in close partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, FRP is part of a growing international movement of infrastructure reuse projects, supporting community development and transforming cities in the process.
The Rail Park is a vision for a three-mile linear park and multi-use pathway connecting 10 distinct Philadelphia neighborhoods and 50+ city blocks along the site of former historic Reading and Pennsylvania Railroad lines. The above and below grade site offers an opportunity to create a world class public space driven by collaborating with communities from every corner of the city, building from existing cultural assets, promoting health and wellness, and advancing equitable access to the investment in this large-scale public works project, positioning the park as an integral part of comprehensive community development in Philadelphia.
Open to the public since June 2018, Phase One of the Rail Park is a $13 million project transforming a quarter-mile section of the former Reading Railroad—which reaches from Broad and Noble streets up onto the elevated 1100 block of Callowhill Street in Philadelphia. Serving as a stunning “proof of concept,” Phase One is a welcoming community greenspace, with pathways, low-maintenance perennial plantings, trees, seating, bench-style swings, local art, and elevated city views. The design preserves and restores much of the historic steel viaduct structure, while introducing materials of a similar industrial scale and character.