The ever-evolving Dilworth Park is likely getting a new addition soon: a small, walk-up coffee stand with space for outdoor seating.
Plans for the 577-square-foot cafe kiosk were brought forth at a historic review commission meeting Tuesday, to a generally favorable response, said Paul Levy, President of the Center City District, following the meeting Tuesday.
The cafe will sit at the southern end of Dilworth Park, nearly two city blocks from the Starbucks that sits on the north side. It will have a window facing the park, which customers can walk up to and order from, although they won’t be able to go inside the building, Levy said. There will also be a green roof, three walls of greenery (called “green screens”), and landscaping surrounding the remaining sides of the structure. Customers will be able to stand or sit at several tables set out in front of the space.
Levy pointed out a few reasons for the coffee shop’s placement; primarily that a coffee shop on either end of the park means most visitors won’t have to leave Dilworth at all if they want to get a drink or a snack. Currently, anyone visiting the southern side of the park isn’t likely to walk two blocks to the cafe on the northern side, he said.
Additionally, the coffee stand would provide yet another buffer between the noise of the traffic and the park, Levy said.
Dilworth Park has often been criticized for being too grey, without the vibrancy and landscaping of other city parks, so Levy says this cafe kiosk could help bring a little more greenery to the space.
The committee gave mostly favorable reviews of the plan Tuesday, but some asked if it could be moved farther from the sidewalk, and if there was a way to bring some variety into the screens, so they’re not just walls of greenery.
Levy said they have little room to work with, so moving the cafe isn’t really possible, but the CCD is looking at ways to bring variety into the green screens ahead of the next meeting in January, when the commission will decide whether to approve the final structure.
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