A quarter-mile section of the city’s expansive planned overhead greenway welcomes visitors to a spacious park with trees, plants and places to relax and take in the views.
The design of the park, lead by Studio Bryan Hanes, maintains an industrial feel with steel platforms, benches and guardrails. A simple, meandering pathway leads visitors through rustic plantings and over four large wooden platforms, culminating with a group of huge swings (yup, swing away!).
Also, look for a stunning metalwork representation of the railway’s history designed and fabricated by Cloud Gehshan and an art project, Dawn Chorus, by Brent Wahl and Laynie Browne.
Of course, as a public space, entry to the Rail Park is completely free.
The Entrances & Neighborhood
Phase I’s footprint stretches from Broad and Noble streets, jumps up to the Reading Viaduct overhead and ends above the 1100 block of Callowhill Street.
To access the Rail Park, go to one of the three entrances at Broad and Noble streets, 13th and Noble streets and Callowhill Street between 11th and 12th streets. Sections beyond the quarter-mile Phase I of the Rail Park are not yet open to the public.
A stylish-yet-still-transforming neighborhood, Callowhill has been dubbed the “Loft District” by real estate developers and “The Eraser ’Hood” by locals referencing the once-dark landscape that inspired former resident David Lynch’s cult classic Eraserhead. Really, the neighborhood’s reality is somewhere in between these two extremes, with both hip spaces occupied by young professionals and funky clubs populated by an edgy urban crowd.
The Rail Park also connects to Philadelphia’s vibrant Chinatown, a neighborhood filled with restaurants and businesses that represent Hong Kong, Cantonese, Fujianese, Northern Sichuan and Taiwanese cultures, as well as a sprinkling of Korean, Thai, Malaysian, Burmese, Vietnamese and American.
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