SOURCE: Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

November 19, 2009 18:33 ET

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation Uses Civic Engagement Meeting to Present Initial Design Concepts for the New Race Street Pier Project

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - November 19, 2009) - Last night, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) in partnership with the Central Delaware Advocacy Group, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and Penn Praxis of the University of Pennsylvania hosted the first of four civic engagement meetings to present the initial design concepts for the Race Street Pier, formerly called Pier 11. The Race Street Pier, located on Columbus Boulevard at the foot of Race Street, is one of the first public spaces to be designed and built by DRWC as an early action of the new Civic Vision for the Central Delaware Riverfront -- a vision which was developed by Penn Praxis and the Central Delaware Advocacy Group. The goal is to develop the pier into a publicly accessible riverfront amenity for residents and tourists. The project has been renamed the Race Street Pier in order to emphasize the location of the park and its connection to the city.

"This project is another step towards the vision of a green, accessible waterfront that all Philadelphians can enjoy," said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. "This meeting is one of many opportunities for the public to re-imagine the central Delaware waterfront, a vision that will be underway by early next year as the master planning process begins."

The commission for the design of the Pier was awarded to James Corner Field Operations, an internationally recognized landscape architecture and urban design firm. During the civic engagement meeting last night, the team outlined the results from a public survey completed in October, described how the public input informed their initial designs, and presented three preliminary design schemes. Renderings and plans for each of these schemes can be downloaded at


An earthwork hill will be ringed with seating and shaped to slope down to the river. This will be the centerpiece to a new social pier which includes a wood seating terrace facing south.


A rolling wood deck is shaped to dramatically bring the visitor up and then down to the space of the river. Design includes a southern cove with a social beach with umbrellas.


A dramatic ramp rises along the north face alongside the bridge, dramatizing the sense of arrive in the space of the river. The lower terrace supports a lawn with generous seating and social space.

After the presentation of the design schemes outlined above, the meeting participants were invited to assemble into smaller groups to discuss what is most exciting about each design scheme and their concerns with the schemes. Each group was then asked to share a few "headlines from their discussion" with the larger group. All comments were documented and will be taken into account as the initial designs are refined.

The next civic engagement meeting for the project is scheduled for Tuesday, January 12 from 6:30 to 8:30pm. The meeting will be held at the indoor facility of the Blue Cross RiverRink, located on Columbus Boulevard at Market Street.


DRWC and the City of Philadelphia issued a Request for Proposals from qualified design consultants to prepare an urban design plan for the intersection of Race Street and Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia, which included Piers 9 and 11 and a former Philadelphia Water Department building, and to provide design, construction documentation and construction administration services for improvements to Pier 11, located at the foot of Race Street on the central Delaware riverfront.

This project is funded by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the City of Philadelphia, and DRWC.

"With the help of all of our civic and funding partners, and the creativity of Field Operations, DRWC will be converting the Race Street Pier into a landmark public space that will set a new standard of excellence in design along the Central Delaware," said Tom Corcoran, president of DRWC.


Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) is a nonprofit corporation organized exclusively for the benefit of the City of Philadelphia and its citizens. DRWC acts as the steward of the Delaware River waterfront to provide a benefit to all of the citizens and visitors of the City.

The fundamental purpose of DRWC is to design, develop and manage the Central Delaware River waterfront in Philadelphia between Oregon and Allegheny Avenues. DRWC intends to transform the Central Delaware River waterfront into a vibrant destination location for recreational, cultural, and commercial activities for the residents and visitors of Philadelphia. DRWC will serve as a catalyst for high quality investment in public parks, trails, maritime, residential, retail, hotel and other improvements that create a vibrant amenity, extending Philadelphia to the river's edge.

DRWC is open, transparent and accountable in connection with its operations and activities with respect to the waterfront. Through the judicious use of financing, land acquisition and development capabilities, the Corporation will work cooperatively with city, state and federal agencies to ensure the realization of the City's vision for the Central Delaware River.

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