Dilworth Plaza will go from an unused and unattractive plaza to a well-maintained, green space. The new plaza will include a lawn, a large space for seating, a fountain, a café, renovations to the subway concourse and tree groves. An interactive art installation will follow the train movement beneath the plaza. The renovation will be completed in 2014.
This $50 million project has created more than 900 construction jobs and was funded mostly by the state, SEPTA and the Federal Transit Administration through a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant.
“I think it will be a much more public, beautiful space,” said Gary Jastrzab of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.
“I think this is an absolutely wonderful step in the right direction done by the city of Philadelphia,” said Joann Iannacone, a Philadelphia resident.
The plaza’s renovations will feature seasonal, outdoor activities for the public.
During the winter, the programmable fountain area will be made into an ice-skating rink. The large lawn will host a series of events such as movies and outdoor concerts in the summer.
“Wow, I can’t believe they are going to have an ice rink. My kids will love that. It’s something new, different,” Iannacone said. “I can’t wait to see this all come to life. The city needs something like this.”