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13 photos that capture the colorful opening of Cherry Street Pier

The long-awaited space has been opening this past week

Maria Young, DRWC

The long-awaited Cherry Street Pier opened last week, bringing 55,000 square feet of colorful public space to the Delaware River waterfront.

The space, which sits off Christopher Columbus Boulevard at the former site of Pier 9, just opened last Friday after a year of renovations, and already saw 15,000 people come by in the first weekend alone, according to the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC). It’s being marked by a three-week-long Festival for the People, an immersive arts experience with live music, art, and poetry.

Its opening is a result of a $4 million adaptive reuse project by the DRWC. They set out last year to turn the 93-year-old abandoned pier into a public space, complete with a market space, food vendors, and art installations. There are also 14 artists who have leased out offices in the space in order to work in open view of the public passing by.

“This park is another example of the importance of investing in civic assets to help transform cities, and this is a true example of a transformation – from a vacant industrial pier to thriving public space and creative hub,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement ahead of the pier’s opening

The pier’s renovations in June Matt Stanley, DRWC
An outdoor area in Philadelphia with lights and an arched skylight.
The newly opened pier
Maria Young, DRWC

There have been some major changes made to the space to bring more color—and a lot more light—to the once drab, grey pier. Major sections of the roof were removed, and the arches that face the Delaware along with some of the walls, were opened. The result is a shell of the original pier surrounding a largely open and bright public space.

To enhance the Cherry Street Pier’s connection to the environment, the DRWC brought in a garden and planters into the center of the space, and opened up a balcony right on the waterfront.

The pier will be open until 10 p.m. on week nights, and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Check out some of the photos that showcase the new space’s colorful details below.

  • Festival will kick off mid-October opening of Cherry Street Pier [Curbed Philly]