Gated pocket park at 48th and Chester still open after ‘liberation’

April 29, 2019

Squirrel Hill Park, the controversial gated pocket “park” at 48th and Chester, is still open after being “liberated” earlier this month and renamed “People’s Park.”

Residents have been asking for years what it would take to open the park to the public. A group started a few years back to work through the legal entanglements. They event sent out a survey. But members of the Black and Brown Workers Cooperative showed what it took: vision, temerity and a pair of bolt cutters.

The Cooperative posted a video (see below) of the opening of the park a couple of weeks ago. The video now has nearly 20,000 views and the park is still open.  Continue Reading

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Fall events at The Woodlands, Bartram’s Garden

October 8, 2018

Fall is here, so it’s time to celebrate harvest, get spooked, show off your costume, and engage in more fun fall and Halloween-themed activities. In this post, check out Fall events, including events for the whole family, happening at two historic places in West and Southwest Philly – The Woodlands Cemetery and Mansion (40th and Woodland) and Bartram’s Garden (5400 Lindbergh Blvd).

Friday, Oct. 12
6:00 –  9:00 p.m.

HollyWoodlands presents Buffy The Vampire Slayer on the big screen in the Hellmouth of The Woodlands. Showings begin at sundown. Watch three episodes of the 90’s cult classic, and come dressed in your Buffy Best for a costume contest before the showing. $5 suggested donation. For more information, go hereContinue Reading

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‘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.”  Continue Reading

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Petition calls for safer pedestrian access to The Woodlands

August 28, 2018

The Woodlands has started an online petition asking for community support for a crosswalk from the 40th Street trolley portal to the cemetery gates across Woodland Avenue.

The upcoming opening of the Trolley Portal Gardens has renewed interest in figuring out a way to make crossing Woodland Avenue safer for pedestrians. The Woodlands estimates that some 45,000 people visited the grounds last year, including about 4,000 in one day during the Go West! Craft Fest (see tweet and video below), many coming on foot across Woodland Avenue.  Continue Reading

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Preliminary design unveiled for 40th Street pocket park

August 22, 2018

Architects and West Philly residents Anu Mathur, center, and Dilip da Cunha, right, talk to community members about plans for the proposed pocket park on 40th Street on Tuesday night at the Rotunda.

Architects and designers of the proposed pocket park on 40th Street unveiled preliminary plans on Tuesday that included permanent collapsible tables down the center and a variety of ground and wall surfaces to make the long, thin strip of land along a busy commercial corridor inviting for everyone in the neighborhood.

“How do you include everybody?,” landscape architect and West Philly resident Anu Mathur asked about 20 community members gathered at The Rotunda to provide input on the plans. “These are words we use, but how do we actually do that?”  Continue Reading

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Pocket park for culture and community proposed near 40th and Chestnut

August 20, 2018

A pocket park for culture and community is coming to this empty lot on 40th street between Chestnut and Ludlow.

West Philly-based non-profit Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture has been exploring the idea of creating a pocket park for culture and community on a vacant lot nestled between Chestnut and Ludlow streets on 40th street. Local developer UC West has dedicated this lot to be a publicly accessible pocket park, and Al-Bustan has been selected as the lead community partner. Since May, the organization has hosted a few public forums to gather input from community members – business owners, homeowners, renters, elderly, students, and more.

The next meeting to discuss the future of the pocket park will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at the Rotunda (4014 Walnut St) from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. This meeting will be a first look into design possibilities for the park.  Continue Reading

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