Sunday, August 30, 2015

From "Plaza" to "Park," Dilworth gets a new look and a new name

OK, so it's $5 million over budget and about five months late, but the completion of Dilworth Plaza on the west side of City Hall is only a few weeks away, Center City District CEO Paul Levy said this morning during a news conference downtown.

From "Plaza" to "Park," Dilworth gets a new look and a new name

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A rendering of a view of a renovated Dilworth Plaza.
A rendering of a view of a renovated Dilworth Plaza. KieranTimberlake and Olin

OK, so it's $5 million over budget and about five months late, but the completion of Dilworth Plaza on the west side of City Hall is only a few weeks away, Center City District CEO Paul Levy said this morning during a news conference downtown. 

The once drab, concrete maze known as Dilworth Plaza is slated for a rebirth - and a new name - after Center City District officials announced they are closing in on the renovations today.

Imagine bubbling urban fountains, vast green spaces, live music and an outdoor cafe that serves booze right on the City Hall apron for the dayworker yearning for happy hour to start early. It's all coming to fruition in the form of Dilworth Park, the city's lively new centerpiece scheduled for a ribbon-cutting Sept. 4. 

From top to bottom, the plaza and its transit hub underground have been renovated, offering new, light, airy open spaces, pedestrian-friendly walkways accessable from all directions, attractions for kids and adult both night and day and a programmable, recycled rainwater-fed fountain that transforms into an ice skating rink in the wintertime. 

Iron Chef Jose Garces will be serving up food and drink from his Cuban-Caribbean cafe, Rosa Blanca, until about 7 p.m. at night, with extended hours on weekends. Center City District will be renting the space from the city in the form of a 20-year lease with the option to renew. 

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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