Big changes are coming to Penn’s Landing on the Delaware waterfront.
The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is wrapping up plans that will transform the Spruce Street span of the river into a summertime carnival. Starting June 27, the project known as “Harbor Park” will be open to the public.
Harbor Park will feature a boardwalk, floating barges, a lily pad garden, bars and restaurants and more.
Penn’s Landing has been a summer hotspot for years. In previous summers, Penn’s Landing has hosted concerts, festivals and movie nights. Harbor Park plans to take summer fun at the waterfront to another level.
As one of the main parts of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s master plan (which was conceived to revitalize the waterfront from Oregon Avenue to Allegheny Avenue), Harbor Park’s planning follows in the footsteps of Race Street Pier.
Opened in 2011, Race Street Pier has extensive green spaces and benches. Visitors to the pier in past summers have enjoyed activities, like free yoga classes and small concerts.
The design of Harbor Park has been tasked to Groundswell Design Group, Interface Studios and Digsau. Similar to Race Street Pier, Harbor Park will jut out into the water and have plenty of green space. Most of the park’s attractions will be environmentally based – a waterfront boardwalk, misting stations and lily pad water gardens are all boasted in the park’s design plans.
Harbor Park will go a step further in connecting visitors to the river. Nets and floating seats will be placed over the river and suspend visitors directly over the Delaware. This series of floating barges has been described by The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation as the “centerpiece” of the project.
It will neighbor other waterfront attractions such as the Independence Seaport Museum. The DRWC has described the project as also giving tribute to the history of the pier while simultaneously giving visitors a glimpse at the waterfront’s hopeful future. The addition of the park is aimed at increasing the stretch of the waterfront’s foot traffic during its most popular summer months.
The park is slated to officially open in late June and remain open throughout August. Admission as well as access to many of the parks attractions will be free.
– Text and photos by Hayley Condon and Madeline Bates.