The first quarter mile segment of Philadelphia’s Rail Park is getting underway after years of planning. Confidence in The Rail Park was certainly bolstered by the overwhelming success of New York’s Highline, but the fact that it’s coming together is also a sign of the continuing success of the redevelopment of Philadelphia.
The park has three sections: the Viaduct, the Cut, and the Tunnel. Three miles, all told. 10 neighborhoods. 50 city blocks. It all stands on the unused tracks of the old Reading Railroad, connecting Fairmount Park to Center City, running from Brewerytown to the Northern Liberties. The Rail Park will be a green space, a gathering space, and a public space for all.
A lesson of the Highline is that the value of property along the park increases. It’s tough to imagine that the parking lot adjacent to the park in the rendering here will stay a parking lot.
What’s tough to imagine is exactly what sort of development will occur. I hope it’s remarkable and dense.