With nearly four acres of space at the intersection of the city’s major art and cultural districts, Dilworth Park has the potential to be a stimulating gathering place in the heart of the city. However, the barren, hard surfaces of the former design did not encourage pedestrians to linger. Conceived in partnership with OLIN landscape architects and Urban Engineers, the redesign transforms Dilworth Park into a welcoming public gathering place and a vibrant green amenity that can be used year-round. The approach to the park becomes more pedestrian-friendly, and paving gently rises from the perimeter walkways toward the center of the site, where a shallow fountain and sloping lawn create a central gathering space. A ring of trees at the periphery defines a boundary and creates a place of tranquility in the center of the bustling city.
Dilworth Park presented an opportunity to delve into the complex history of a significant public space, under continual change and evolution, in one of the country’s oldest cities. In the tradition of the other town squares conceived by William Penn in his plan for Philadelphia, the renovation of Dilworth Park restores its stature as a place of great civic engagement, while bringing the urban infrastructure of its transportation network into the modern day.