Centennial Commons Update: Phase One to Break Ground This Spring!

by Jennifer Mahar

After years of planning and design, the Fairmount Park Conservancy is gearing up to begin construction on Phase One of the Centennial Commons park improvement project! We plan to hold a groundbreaking ceremony during LOVE Your Park Week, May 7 – 14, 2016 and everyone in Parkside will be invited. LOVE Your Park Week is a citywide celebration of Philadelphia’s parks with a citywide volunteer day at 100 parks and over 75 events and programs at different parks throughout the city.

Phase One of the Centennial Commons project focuses on improvements to the Parkside Avenue edge of West Fairmount Park. Improvements include dynamic rain gardens that will filter storm water off of Parkside Avenue, a mid-block pedestrian crossing between Memorial and Marlton Avenues and other traffic calming measures. The highlight of the project will be ‘neighborhood rooms’ along Parkside Avenue. Designed to highlight the beautiful porches across the street in the community, these rooms will feature innovative lighting and giant porch swings. We hope the improvements bring a creative touch to the park border and make the park feel like an extension of the community.

Another rendering of a future Centennial Commons area.
Another rendering of a future Centennial Commons area. (Photo Credit: Fairmount Park Conservancy)

Construction will occur on Parkside Avenue from 41st Street to just past West Memorial Hall Drive and is expected to last six to nine months. West Fairmount Park will still be ‘open’ but there will be temporary parking disruptions on Parkside Avenue in the lane closest to the park. We are working with SEPTA to ensure little to no disruption in service along the Avenue.

And more projects are on deck for West Fairmount Park! We are actively fundraising for the new Youth Area which will be PhaseTwo of the Centennial Commons project.

To keep things moving, Studio Bryan Hanes is working on design development while we fundraise. This means working with engineers, architects and other entities on the design of allof the new features next to Kelly Pool including climbing structures and creative natural playgrounds for kids, a small pavilion with amenities, and a fun, interactive spray ground.

We will be holding a community meeting before the groundbreaking so stay tuned for more information. And we promise to keep you posted via The Parkside Journal!

In the meantime, if there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Jennifer Mahar at 215-988- 9334or via email at  jmahar@myphillypark.org

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