I-676 Cover Parks

Replacement of the Vine Street Expressway overpasses’ aging infrastructure created the opportunity for Ground Reconsidered to imagine and design a series of major public parks and gathering spaces, built mostly on structure. The cover parks include Shakespeare Park in front of the Free Library of Philadelphia and Pennypacker Park in front of the former Family Court Building. Shakespeare Park’s terraced amphitheater seating surrounds the plaza and evokes a theatre-in-the-round effect, the way many of Shakespeare’s plays are performed. The pavement pattern was influenced by Elizabethan patterns and the plants on site can be found referenced in Shakespeare’s writings. Pennypacker Park draws inspiration from the Family Court Building that serves as a grand backdrop. The designs accommodate flexible programming uses from intimate conversations to festival scale events. Additionally, new paving, planting, and street furnishing improvements along adjacent at-grade streets and realigned intersections ensure a safe environment for pedestrians and vehicles. The materials and site furnishings throughout the project follow the Design Guidelines for the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, previously prepared by Ground Reconsidered and adopted by Fairmount Park, as well as PennDOT regulatory requirements. This complex project followed a multidisciplinary design approach where close coordination between the landscape architect and engineering team was key to the successful design.

  • PennDOT, Pennoni
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 2008 - Current