A planned, 10-story condo project coming to the parkway will include a private garden and “urban oasis” visible from every unit in the new development, according to a statement from developers, Bock Group.
The group recently hired design firm Sikora Wells Appel to create the garden, which will sit at the base of the 33-unit development at 2100 Hamilton. The garden will include a 45-foot-long, six-foot-tall, granite water wall. It will also include a 40-foot-long reflecting pool and a granite “water table,” the statement said. There will be a lounge area with a pergola, wood furniture, and a fireplace.
But the plan for a tranquil garden is not without conflict. It would cap a sunken former railway, which the Friends of the Rail Park were eyeing for the future extension of the park. Currently, the Rail Park only occupies a quarter-mile stretch of raised public space in Callowhill, but it has plans to extend three miles, up past the parkway, following the path of the former Reading Viaduct Railroad.
The Philadelphia Inquirer first questioned how the garden affects the park’s future, saying that the Friends of the Rail Park had hoped Bock Group would use its private garden budget to landscape the land in front of the condo project instead.
This isn’t the first time concerns have been raised over how the 2100 Hamilton project could affect the future Rail Park. Last year, when the Bock Group received a zoning permit for the space, Rail Park supporters questioned the project’s proximity to the sunken railway passage.
At the time, Friends of the Rail Park said they were in talks with community members, neighborhood organizations, and area cultural institutions, “with the goal of seeing that the site is developed in a way that maximizes the positive impact that the storied assets of the future Rail Park... can have on the development itself,” according to a statement from the group at the time.