Sometimes, when a project is just starting out, there are days when it's hard to imagine how it will ever come to fruition. By the time the Rail Park is a thriving pathway that has transformed the City of Philadelphia â€” serving as play space for children and an outdoor classroom for nearby schools and the Community College of Philadelphia; a link to the most renowned cultural institutions in the city; a free, safe, publicly accessible park and bicycle path; a destination for engaging events and educational programs and a place to stroll and relax and to meet friends and neighbors â€” it will be hard to imagine when it never existed at all.
We are grateful for your continued support and enthusiasm, and we look forward to staying in touch and updating you on the progress of Phase 1 throughout the New Year.
Warm wishes for a joyful, healthy holiday season!
Michael Garden, Sunanda Ghosh, Aaron Goldblatt, Liz Maillie,
Sarah McEneaney, Leah Murphy and John Struble Board of Directors, Friends of the Rail Park
UPDATE ON PHASE 1
BREAKING GROUND ON PHASE 1 | Designs for the first phase of the Rail Park are complete. Construction documents are ready to bid out. A lease for Phase 1 between the Center City District (CCD) and SEPTA is being finalized. The CCD has grant commitments in hand for nearly 50% of the expected $8.5 million in construction costs and is awaiting word on one additional grant. In concert with CCD's efforts, FRP continues to build support and develop resources to steward Phase 1 while bringing attention to the entire 3-mile site.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2014
GROWING OUR BOARD | We are thrilled to announce that this fall we added two new directors to the board, Michael Garden and Sunanda Ghosh. A real estate professional with CITYSPACE, Michael has, over the past 4 years, hosted and co-organized numerous awareness and fundraising events for the Rail Park. This year he won a Philadelphia Business Journal Heavy Hitters of Real Estate Award for his work with the Rail Park.Sunanda is the Associate Director for Leadership Gifts at Human Rights Watch. Specializing in major gifts, strategic planning and board development, she has worked in the field of fundraising for over 15 years with non-profits including the the American Friends Service Committee, Drexel University, Philadelphia Mural Arts and Habitat for Humanity International. Both Michael and Sunanda also serve on FRP's Fundraising Advisory Committee, along with Gail Bower, Eileen Marolla, Christopher Strom and Debra Ward.
AN ELEVATING EVENING | On October 9th, we collaborated with the Liao Collection and Threenineteen to host an intimate cocktail reception benefitting the Rail Park. Attended by some of the organizations most loyal donors, sponsors and supporters, the event featured excellent art and antiques, wonderful performances by the dancers and musicians of PasiÃ³n y Arte Flamenco Co and a scissor lift up to the level of the viaduct. Read on and see more images here. The event was a success on all accounts, and FRP is grateful for the support of our guests, supporters and lead sponsor, Blue Cadet.
THROUGH THE LENS OF FRIENDS | This fall, we asked some friends of the Friends to submit Instagram posts and short narratives capturing how they feel about the Rail Park. How have Philadelphians experienced the three-mile site, and how do they envision the future park? Their responses and their images were truly inspiring! Read the original article, and see more photos here.
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2015
PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW | We are grateful to have the support of PHS in helping to design and build an exhibit that will present Friends of the Rail Park's vision to as many as 250,000 visitors at the 2015 PHS Flower Show, February 28 - March 8.For more details and tickets, click here, and be sure to stop by and say hello! We are excited to be part of this year's Flower Show, and we look forward to other collaborations with our friends at PHS in 2015.
COLLABORATIONS IN CALLOWHILL | Together with Asian Arts Initiative (AAI) and DesignPhiladelphia (DP), we received a generous grant from ArtPlace America which will support long-term, permanent improvements AAI plans for Pearl Street in Callowhill, as well as installations and events promoting Phase 1 of the Rail Park. In the coming months, FRP and DP will be working with a team of volunteers to help imagine ways to transform street-level spaces near the viaduct into interactive, immersive, educational and whimsical destinations in October 2015. Stay tuned for more details!