A local photographer recently had the opportunity to ride a blimp over Philly the other day, and captured this epic aerial photo of the Reading Viaduct Rail, making us all the more pumped for the elevated park plans.
Kyle Huff rode the blimp with the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, which recently launched a new-and-improved micro-website for the proposed Reading Viaduct Rail Park, which would stretch for 55 blocks through the post-industrial neighborhoods of Callowhill and North Philly.
The photo inspired PlanPhilly’s Jon Geeting to superimpose all of the development opportunities surrounding the rail line. Geeting explained to Curbed Philly, "I was inspired to create this visual because I wanted to show that the Rail Park won't just create value as a nice new park and a civic space. It can also be an important catalyst for new development in the surrounding neighborhood, and help pull the Center City apartment boom up toward North Philly."
Visualizing surface parking, vacant lots, and other underused land near @TheRailPark #urbanphl pic.twitter.com/zZ4ZlMD6MO— Jon Geeting (@jongeeting) June 22, 2016
The Rail Park's has been compared to New York City's much-touted High Line, though Philly's version is expected to be built at a fraction of the cost. But the potential for the city is there, says Geeting. "A big part of what makes the High Line in New York City such a cool experience is that it's hugged by all these great-looking buildings. It would be pretty sad if the view was just a bunch of gross parking lots, so I'm hoping people will get excited by the opportunity to create some great new architecture here."
Phase 1 of the proposed rail park has been ready to break ground for quite some time now, though a significant chunk of funds were have been held up in the state budget. Last we heard, plans were for the quarter-mile stretch to break ground in the Fall 2016.