Field Operations’ Race Street Pier now open
Last month, the City of Philadelphia celebrated the opening of Race Street Pier, a new waterfront public space designed by landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations, who are also the designers of Freshkills Park and the High Line. The 50,000 sq ft pier was first constructed in 1896 as a bi-level facility accommodating both shipping and recreation. The new design echoes the past.
[T]he physical design of the new pier is split into two levels – an upper level with a grand sky promenade and a lower level for passive recreation and social gathering. A dramatic ramp rises twelve feet into the air along the north face of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, dramatizing the sense of arriving in the space of the river through a forced one-point perspective and allowing for rare views back to the City. A sun-filled lower terrace supports a multi-purpose lawn, planting beds and seating. The two levels are linked by a generous seating terrace that wraps around the end of the pier and amplifies the sense of magic associated with being on the edge.
The Pier is the first project within the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s Civic Vision for the Central Delaware Riverfront, which aims to create and maintain public spaces every half mile along a seven-mile stretch of the river.