Plans for the Washington Avenue Green's extension onto the old Pier 53 were released on Saturday. The plans reflect the park's history and future, and its ambitious goals. The park will incorporate plantings (of native plant species) that will improve the health of the river. and therefore, the entire surrounding habitat. The team for the project includes ecologists and biologists as well as architects and park planners, and has an ambitious vision for innovative environmental stewardship without erasing the pier's history as an important urban site.
[All images courtesy of Delaware Waterfront Redevelopment Corporation]
Pier 53 served as an immigration station for Philadelphia between the years of 1873 and 1915. The station was torn down in 1915, but rubble from the original building remains: bricks, concrete and found elements are incorporated throughout the park's design. An art installation at the end of the pier, called the land bouy, will track currents and shine throughout the night, with a phosphorescent glass cylinder, which is charged by the sun. The artist, Jody Pinto, found that her own family had passed through Pier 53, and was inspired to create a beacon of welcome to commemorate the history of the immigration station.
The park's plan is an innovative combination of good environmental stewardship and a recognition of the site's historic, urban legacy.
· Pier 53 Designs to be Unveiled at Saturday's EcoFest [Plan Philly]
· Washington Avenue Green [Official Site]