"The transformation of this tiny shard of land amounts to a small miracle... Every Philadelphia neighborhood should have a park as good as Sister Cities." - Inga Saffron, The Philadelphia Inquirer
The City of Philadelphia, Center City District (CCD), and Central Philadelphia Development Corporation (CPDC) created Sister Cities Park as part of a program to transform space along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway into a welcoming and walkable corridor. The park was constructed in the former Logan Square —a public space that dates back to Philadelphia’s founding by William Penn—between City Hall and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“This was a project that gave us a chance to bring something unique to the Parkway and to the City.”
- Bryan Hanes, ASLA, LEED AP, Principal, Studio Bryan Hanes
Urban provided construction inspection services for the mixed-use park, which houses a plaza and fountain, children’s discovery garden and miniature boat pond, and café and visitors center. Sustainable features include a green roof and geothermal heating and cooling, and landscaping that helps capture stormwater runoff. The park was designed by Studio Bryan Hanes and Digsau.
Work occurred in a small area, less than one acre, and involved five contractors. These conditions became more challenging when archeologists discovered 61 unmarked graves during construction. Urban oversaw contractors and made sure the gravesites and full-grown trees were protected and that work met plans, codes, and permits. We also consulted on the complicated plumbing solution for the park’s automated and programmable jet fountain and micro model of the Wissahickon Creek with boat pond. Each of the fountain’s 10 jets represent one of Philadelphia’s sister cities.
Our inspection covered the elements below: