‘Trolley Portal Gardens’ – the public space at 40th and Baltimore – officially opens

September 28, 2018

Mayor Jim Kenney speaks on Thursday at the opening of the Trolley Portal Gardens near 40th and Baltimore. (Photo by West Philly Local).

As trolleys screeched by, Mayor Jim Kenney was among the dignitaries who spoke Thursday at the opening of Trolley Portal Gardens, the public space near the trolley stops at 40th and Baltimore. Kenney, whose mayorship is defined by balancing the “old” Philadelphia of open fire hydrants and block parties and the “new” Philadelphia of “eds and meds,” said the new space balances both.

“This is the ‘old’ Philadelphia and the ‘new’ Philadelphia,” he said. “This is where we’re going.” 

The $2.5 million transformation of the trolley portal area includes landscaped sitting areas with tables and chairs, similar to Clark Park, and the nearby Trolley Car Station restaurant. Some 700 trolleys a day pass through the portal. An estimated 5,000 people a day board the trolleys at the portal.

Other speakers at the opening said the new space was part of a “rebirth” of 40th Street that will include new retail and a Penn dormitory near 40th and Walnut.

The area features tables and chairs in a public sitting area near the Trolley Car Station Restaurant, which includes its own outdoor sitting area along its northern wall. (Photo courtesy of University City District.)

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