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. 

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.