The exhilarating trend of creating pop-up mini parks using activated parking spaces is no stranger to Philadelphia – “parklets” are popping up all over the city. In early September, the residents and visitors of the North Philadelphia Logan neighborhood will have a gathering space of their own: the new Logan Parklet, in front of the Logan Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Unlike parklets typically placed near restaurants or commercial areas, the Logan Parklet will be built in a residential neighborhood, anchored by the Free Library. Designed by members of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (PhilaNOMA) as part of a Community Design Intervention project started by WRT’s Marguerite Anglin, the space presents a unique opportunity to create a location in Logan that celebrates human interaction and encourages positive street activity. The parklet’s design allows for various programming and activities for people of all ages, with three distinct designated areas: “work” with cafe tables, “play” with a small stage doubled as a chalkboard palette, and “lounge” with flexible seating. Wood decking, built-in wood benches with integral planter walls, aluminum mesh panels, cable system and tree stump seats/table tops are all part of the design. The Logan Parklet already has fall activities planned, including “Movies @ the Parklet!” every Friday in September, featuring films based on books offered at the Free Library.
As leader of the PhilaNOMA team of four designers, Anglin coordinated the design effort and interfaced with multiple entities to make the parklet a reality: Logan CDC, the Logan community, Free Library, Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, and Philadelphia Streets Department. The parklet will be in operation for six weeks this fall until it is disassembled and stored for the winter. Operations will continue in Spring of 2013, with potential for a longer term with continued neighbor and city support.
Click links below to see the project video, fact sheet, and ways you can be involved!