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June 28, 2013

Coming Attraction: The Oval, A Pop-Up Park On The Benjamin Franklin Parkway To Debut In July With Interactive Entertainment, Movie Nights, Food Trucks And More

The Oval is coming to transform a surface parking lot on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway into a summer fun-filled pedestrian park. (Image courtesy Philadelphia Parks and Recreation)

In yet another impressive initiative from the City of Philadelphia to transform problematic urban spaces into pedestrian-friendly havens, the suface parking lot of Eakins Oval will be remade as The Oval, an eight-acre “Park on the Parkway.”

Slated to welcome its first visitors July 17, an island of asphalt on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be remade into an open-air public space, programmed with free interactive events both day and night, educational programming, live entertainment, movie nights and a daily lineup of food trucks.

Themed around a beach motif, the former parking lot will now welcome the public with whimsical features like sandboxes, misters, oversized board games, Adirondack chairs, volleyball, badminton, bocce and miniature golf. Beyond the fun and games, The Oval will also host food trucks and plenty of cafe tables and additional seating.

The new park will serve to enhance the pedestrian flow from iconic Parkway attractions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Rocky statue, The Barnes Foundation, The Franklin Institute, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, The Free Library and the Rodin Museum.

Thanks to a partnership between Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy, with support from William Penn Foundation and City of Philadelphia, The Oval is currently programmed for five weeks from July 17 through August 18, for 12 hours per day.

We’re hoping, though, that this pop-up park gets a permanent home on the Parkway.

Check out additional renderings below and find out more here.

Stay tuned for more on this super new summertime attraction.

The Oval
When: July 17-August 18, Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Eakins Oval, 24th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: Free
More info: www.phila.gov

Fun and games in the shadow of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at The Oval. (Image courtesy Philadelphia Parks and Recreation)

Adirondack chairs are slated to provide seating at The Oval. (Image courtesy Philadelphia Parks and Recreation)

A slice of the Parkway will look like a beach when The Oval opens this July. (Image courtesy Philadelphia Parks and Recreation)

An overhead map of The Oval site on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. (Image courtesy Philadelphia Parks and Recreation)

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jan says:

This is so exciting to me & I can’t wait to take all 4 of my grandchildren to experience “the oval”. Thank you to everyone that was responsible. I love this city!