The Center City District recently announced that it has been awarded a federal grant to redesign and renovate Dilworth Plaza, located adjacent to Philadelphia’s City Hall.
The redesign of Dilworth Plaza is intended to transform an underutilized concrete plaza in the heart of Center City into a green, pedestrian-friendly public space with new plantings, lawns, programmable fountain, a cafe with outdoor seating and two iconic glass entrances to the underground concourse.
The substantial increase in permeable surfaces not only will enhance the environment but also provide a more welcoming environment for commuters using public transportation and for events on the Plaza, which will include winter ice-skating and space for outdoor concerts and events that can accommodate up to 8,000 people.
Dilworth Plaza sits atop the intersection of SEPTA’s Market-Frankford elevated line, Broad Street subway and the Subway-Surface Trolley lines, and boasts easy connections to the regional rail lines, all of which bring over 300,000 transit riders downtown each day.
The sustainable design of the plaza will help achieve many of the objectives of Greenworks Philadelphia by reducing by 38 percent the existing impermeable paving, adding dozens of new trees and other landscaping, and reducing storm-water runoff through an irrigation system with water supplied by a rain-collecting cistern.
A few additional green facts about the new Dilworth Plaza.
• 76 new trees will increase tree canopy by 26%, reduce ambient temperature by 2 degrees, and allow for a reduction of stormwater into the combined sewer system of 84,892 gallons annually over the entire site.
• The new trees will also help remove air pollution from the site, estimated at 12.92 pounds of ozone/year, 19 pounds of particulate matter/year, 6.84 pounds of nitrogen oxide/year, 6.84 pounds of sulfur oxide/year and 1.52 pounds of carbon monoxide/year.
• Design reduces by 38% the current 112,000 sf of impermeable paving by adding 14,600 sf of permeable paving.
• Design increases to 27,600 sf the amount of planted area from 6,643 today.
• The irrigation system will utilize a 36,000-gallon cistern that is designed to meet 100% of the site’s irrigation needs, eliminating the need for potable water.
• 5,000 square feet of wall finish in the new concourse will be salvaged granite from the existing plaza.
Construction is set to begin in 2011 with completion scheduled for 2013.
We can’t wait.
Pretty Visions of Dilworth’s Transformations [Philadelphia Brownstoner]