ARCHITECTURE: Race Street Pier Plans Are Promising


CHANGING SKYLINE: When the Delaware River Waterfront Corp. selected Field Operations last fall to design a new park at the Race Street pier, it was hard to shake off a certain feeling of trepidation. The firm, led by Philadelphia-based James Corner, was still basking in rave reviews for its work on the High Line park, the magical suspended garden that rolls through New York’s Chelsea neighborhood on an elevated trestle. But for that five-acre project, Corner’s group enjoyed a kingly budget of $152 million. Perennially cash-strapped Philadelphia was setting aside just $5 million for its one-acre pier, and part of that money was meant to cover repairs to the structure’s 109-year-old wooden piles. How could the results ever measure up? Was Philadelphia fated – not for the first time – to get second-rate work from a first-rate designer? Waterfront officials now have released images of the park design, and the results should put to rest any doubts about Field Operations’ ability to work on the cheap. Their sure-handed design promises to do for Philadelphia’s neglected waterfront what the High Line park did for its railroad relic: make it a destination for high-end hanging out. MORE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *