Last week, the City of Philadelphia celebrated the grand opening of its new Dilworth Park adjacent to the historic City Hall. The park brings a vibrant new public space and more accessible public transportation to the heart of the city, replacing an inaccessible, multi-level, deteriorated plaza that consisted of numerous stairs, walls, and barriers.
The project helps restore William Penn’s original, 17th-Century plans for the City of Brotherly Love’s civic spaces. It also creates new access to contemporary features of city life that Penn could never have anticipated: including multiple bus lines, two subway lines, five trolley lines, thirteen regional railroad lines, and a high-speed rail line to southern New Jersey.
This ambitious reimagining of the former Dilworth Plaza was made possible by a 2010 TIGER grant from the US Department of Transportation. And, as we celebrate the latest round of TIGER grants supporting 72 projects in 46 states and the District of Columbia, it’s proof of the kind of transformation these grants make possible for their communities.