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Pier 53 Takes Its First Bow Along The Delaware River

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Mayor Nutter helps cut the ribbon on Washington Avenue Pier. Photos by James Jennings

Pier 53 held its grand opening today down on the Delaware River. Prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony, we learned that it will now be known as Washington Avenue Pier, a mash-up of the site's dual identity as Washington Avenue Green and Pier 53. Tucked behind the Sheet Metal Worker's Building at Columbus Boulevard and Washington Avenue, the park will highlight the ecology of the site while showing off its tremendous history as Philadelphia's main immigration station. The day could not have been more perfect for its debut, as Deputy Alan Greenberger even noted that he was glad to be in "early September" weather, since ribbon cuttings in August are usually hell for officials dressed up in a suit and tie. Anyway, the park is just that, a park — beautifully landscaped ready and for the world to see.

It's in-filled with pristine mulch and beautiful plantings that will only add to the natural presence of the experience as they grow. The gravel path wonderfully winds, at first to the rocky beach, where visitors can literally touch the water, and then to the elevated boardwalk overlooking the river. The path comes to the edge of the pier at a roundabout of sorts at the foot of Jody Pinto's tremendous Land Buoy, an impressive piece of public art that combines an elegance with a certain power over the might Delaware River.
· More Pier 53 Coverage [Curbed Philly]