Penn Park Will Connect UPenn to Center City

Penn Park Will Connect UPenn to Center City

The University of Pennsylvania’s latest real estate acquisition used to be a 14 acre parking lot for mail trucks according to a recent article.

Philadelphia Real Estate Blog – Penn Park

After investing two years and 46 million dollars the land has been transformed in Penn Park  the centerpiece of Penn’s long term plan to connect the 283-acre campus from its historic core near 34th and Walnut Streets with Center City Philadelphia.

 “It’s the first time that, by design, we’ve set aside open space for the use of the Penn community and beyond,” said Amy Gutmann, Penn’s president. “It’s an open, accessible, green, people-friendly connection between Center City and West Philadelphia.”

Penn bought the 14-acre lot in 2007 and combined it with existing land to create the 24-acre Penn Park. It features two athletic fields, a multipurpose stadium with 470 seats, a tennis center, and parking for 210 cars. In addition, there are two acres of open space and a picnic grove. The park, which has 530 newly planted native trees, gives the urban campus breathing room and offers everyone a new vantage point for viewing Center City.

Penn Park, which has been blogged about previously,  is bordered by Walnut Street to the north, Amtrak rails to the east, SEPTA tracks to the west, and South Street to the south. It’s accessible via three walkways, from Walnut, South Street, and Franklin Field.  The park sits in a bowl and is crossed by three rail lines: Amtrak, CSX, and SEPTA.  The project, to the university’s credit, was built entirely with donations and UPenn funds, not public money.

This project is a continuation of Penn’s recent trend towards immersion with Center City.

“Penn used to be criticized for being too much of a fortress with its back to the city. Judith Rodin, Gutmann’s predecessor from 1994 to 2004, began opening up the campus and investing in the surrounding community. Gutmann took it one step further and announced in 2006 a vision for growing the university eastward along Walnut over the next 30 years. Another keystone project is the $80 million Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology, across from Penn Park.  When Penn Park was in the design stage, Gutmann insisted on having a walkway to draw people down from Walnut in addition to steering them from campus via the existing Paley Bridge.”

For More Information visit the Penn Park website or attend the grand opening on September 17, 2011 from 4-6pm.  Here’s a quick summary of the opening day festivities:

To celebrate the opening of Penn Park we are happy to announce Penn Park Field Day from 4:00-6:00pm on Saturday, September 17. Come play!

Penn Athletics, Penn’s Year of Games, and Penn Traditions are teaming with student organizations and athletic teams to offer a number of activities that showcase this exciting, new outdoor space. The first 2,000 visitors will receive a free commemorative shirt and there will be free pretzels and water available.

Activities include:

• Field games such as giant chess, giant connect four, giant dominoes, giant jenga, washer toss, bean bag toss, bocce, and ultimate frisbee

• Inflatable games such as human foosball, obstacle course, joust, homerun derby, giant twister, and wrecking ball

• College House Cup Tug of War competition

• Philomathean Society Human Chess

• Photo opportunities with the Heisman, Outland, and Bednarik trophies

• Sport clinics by Penn Varsity and Club teams

• Penn Traditions Pushball

• Theta Tau giant Risk game

At 6pm, head over to Franklin Field for free admission to the Penn vs. Lafayette football game to be followed by a fireworks show.

Penn Park is a new urban park stretching from Walnut Street to South Street on the eastern border of Penn’s campus, featuring 24 acres of continuous space, including athletic facilities and informal recreation areas.

Don’t miss the Grand Opening Celebration Picnic on September 15 hosted by the President’s Office.

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Blog post compliments of CenterCityTeam’s Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Frank L. DeFazio, Esquire
Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors – Society Hill
530 Walnut Street, Suite 260
Philadelphia, PA 19106
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