Sister Cities Park Phase II
Signature Interactive Playscape designed by Toshiko McAdam
Located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Logan Square in front of
Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica, Sister Cities Park has earned recognition as one of the nation’s leading multi-generational parks, attracting families with children, seniors, local workers and visitors to nearby cultural institutions. The park, created in 2012 by the Center City District (CCD), was transformed from a forgotten to a lively space by adding a playful fountain for children, a Discovery Garden, wading pond, mobile ‘library,’ café and lawn. The CCD coordinates extensive and diverse activities in the park, from summer children’s literacy programs to happy hours and family events that attract an average of 28,500 visitors in warmer months.
To enrich the park, the CCD will establish an area with the flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of play equipment for informal and creative play. This area, just west of the Discovery Garden, can accommodate an innovative children’s playspace that is simultaneously a work of art. Imagine a structure that appears from afar as a composite of color amidst the trees but up close reveals itself to be a playscape with children climbing in its textile web. This new attraction in Sister Cities Park will be created through a signature installation designed by Toshiko McAdam, a Japanese-born Canadian artist famous for her large-scale textile playgrounds. Accompanied by unique programming, the McAdam playscape will add another international attraction to a park that already celebrates Philadelphia’s relationship with 10 global sister cities.
Library in the Park
Opened in Spring 2012, after extensive renovation by the Center City District,
Sister Cities Park at Logan Square has become a “must visit” destination for families with children, school groups, seniors, and visitors to Parkway cultural institutions. In 2013, to serve a growing audience of children, the CCD partnered with the Free Library of Philadelphia to pilot a mobile book cart and literacy program in the park.
The cart is filled with books ranging from classic picture books to advanced reader books that can be borrowed and read while in the park – in the café, after a romp around the Discovery Garden, or while lounging on the lawn. The book cart has also been the focus of the popular Story Art summer literacy program, drawing an average of 400 children annually during the past two summers. We now seek to expand the book cart program to make it a year-long “Library in the Park” initiative.
Donors can endow not only the existing Story Art program, but also underwrite
new programs such as special children’s book readings, author events, book
drives, book-trading and book review blogging.