"Why is this project taking so long? When is construction going to start?"
—guest [Take a Tour of Reading Viaduct with its Designers]
Maybe it helps that a lot of green just got thrown at the situation. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and William Penn Foundation announced they will invest $11 million to reimagine public spaces in Philadelphia, and the Rail Park is one of the projects slated for a cash infusion. In an initiative led by Philadelphia's Fairmount Park Conservancy, the idea will explore whether reinventing and connecting civic places will make the city become more successful. Part of the $11 million is slated for the Rail Park, although the project still needs to tie up a few loose ends before construction can start, according to Paul Levy of the Center City District. Funds will also go to: The Discovery Center in East Fairmount Park, Bartram's Mile trail project, Lovett Memorial Library and Park, and Fairmount Park Conservancy's Centennial Commons.
The foundations decided to funnel the entire grant through the Fairmount Park Conservancy Rather than giving the money directly to individual parks groups, which will all (except the Discovery Center) come under the oversight of the city's Department of Parks and Recreation. After construction is finished, the conservancy will collect data to measure the impact of the new parks on their neighborhoods.
"Philadelphia is serving as a test kitchen," explained Kathryn Ott Lovell, the conservancy's executive director.
· Foundations partnering to enable Railroad Viaduct Park [Philly.com]
· Take a tour of the Reading Viaduct with its designers [Curbed Philly]
· The Rail Park clears hurdles, moves right along [Curbed Philly]