5/19/2011

Race Street Pier Is Open for Exploration!

A small step but huge accomplishment in implementing the Civic Vision for the Central Delaware was successfully executed last thursday on the waterfront. Race Street Pier is now here sporting contemporary landscaping and an interactive design, this premier park is a testament of what's to come!




The one-acre pier-park, formerly a commercial shipping berth that recently served as a parking lot, is an early project in the development of the Central Delaware into a welcoming urban place with continuous connections to center city and beyond.  The Delaware River waterfront Corp. is making incremental progress on providing public access to the river, with the creation of a no-frills, interim trail along the water's edge from Lombard to Tasker streets, and a pop-up park at Pier 53 south called the Washington Avenue Green.







Some factoids: Courtesy of Plan Philly
Trees:  The 37 large caliper Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) trees were cultivated for four years at a nursery in Millstone, N.J for the World Trade Center Memorial at Ground Zero in New York City.

Grasses and Perennials:  Almost 10,250 individual 4 inch pots of shade tolerant grasses and perennials were planted in weathered steel planters to increase diversity and add texture, color and seasonal interest.

Lighting: The park’s setting under the Ben Franklin Bridge is spectacular at night; therefore the park was designed to be enjoyed in the evening as well as during the day with extensive lighting including 200 LED Solar Light Blocks embedded into the paving.

Paving: The paving on the upper level ramp is Trex, a sustainable synthetic decking material made out of reclaimed plastic and wood, representing one of the largest public installations of Trex decking in the country.

Railings:  The perimeter railing leans at a 65 degree angle towards the pier, further accentuating the forced one-point perspective of the ramp rising along the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Lights are incorporated into railing on the lower level.

Seating Steps: Tiered seating terraces link the upper and lower levels and create a destination at the end of the pier for viewing, gathering, and contemplation.

Wharf Drops: 2 wharf-drops on the lower level originally used to unload cargo for shipping were retrofitted and integrated into the new park.  They are covered with transparent metal grating and a portion of one has been left open for users to experience the river in an unusual and authentic way.

Fill:  Over 2,015 cubic yards of geofoam were used to form the sky promenade on the upper level.

Tides: The Delaware River is tidal, fluctuating an average of six feet in elevation a day.  At mean high water level, the lower level of the pier will be approximately 4.5 feet above the river, making the Race Street Pier one of rare places where you can get close to the water. The Race Street Pier is also a tidal register, where you can find out the forecast for high and low tides for the City of Philadelphia.

Hours: Race Street Pier will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. during the upcoming summer season. Park rules will prohibit the use of skateboards, skates or recreational scooters.  Motorized vehicles, commercial activity or solicitations, special events, assemblies, performances and amplified sound, as well as drinking alcohol will all require special permits.  Dogs will be required to be on a leash and owners will be asked to pick up after them.