Wolf Administration Celebrates Ribbon-cutting of Rail Park in Center City Philadelphia, Highlighting Governor’s Commitment to Community Revitalization
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin joined local leaders to celebrate the ribbon-cutting of the new Rail Park in Center City Philadelphia. The park is designed to serve as an informal, leafy green space with room to walk and sit for the Philadelphia community, and was supported in part by the Wolf Administration through funding from DCED, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), and the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).
“Any time you can open a new community green space in an urban area, it’s great news, but especially so when it converts blighted property into a usable park – which is why this project was a priority for Governor Wolf,” Secretary Davin said. “Philadelphia residents should be proud of this new space, as it represents what happens when the community comes together with the shared goal of revitalization. Rail Park will be a pillar of Center City for years to come.”
Rail Park is the result of the renovation of an old abandoned viaduct originally constructed in the 1890s. According to Center City District, which works to enhance the vitality and competitiveness of Philadelphia’s downtown, the first phase of the 25,000-square-foot park starts across from the former Philadelphia Inquirer building at Broad and Noble streets, includes the 1300 block of Noble, and runs southeast across 12th and 13th streets to Callowhill Street. The park brings a much-needed green amenity to the Callowhill and Chinatown North neighborhoods on Center City’s northern edge.
“After years of planning, designing, and constructing, Center City’s newest park is now open,” said Paul R. Levy, president and CEO of Center City District in Philadelphia. “In 2010, the Center City District began working with the surrounding community, planning, raising funds and finally overseeing construction of what is now a vibrant green space for the Callowhill and Chinatown North neighborhoods. Now, we look forward both to help maintaining this park and to transforming even more of this unused rail line into a unique park that will animate and connect diverse neighborhoods.”
Rail Park was supported in part through funding from $125,000 from DCED, $500,300 from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), and $3.5 million from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP). The RACP funding, announced in 2016 by Governor Wolf, enabled the project to move to the construction phase.
For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to community development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Michael Gerber, DCED, 717.783.1132