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How They Put an Ice Skating Rink Next to Philadelphia’s City Hall
Publication Date
November 14th 2014
Three specific accommodations in the design of Dilworth Park that made the Rothman Institute Ice Rink possible.


As Dilworth Park’s central fountain completes its transformation into theRothman Institute Ice Rink, many may be asking, “How did they do that?”


To ensure that the rink would be able to be setup and dismantled for the winter season, three key permanent infrastructure aspects were ingrained into the park’s design. They were:


1) Underground chiller lines – These keep the rink frozen, as well as avoid people tripping over large insulated hoses on the plaza surface.

2) An ice melt pit -This pit is located next to the rink to capture the shavings from the Zamboni.

3) A dedicated electrical service to power the chiller – It is crucial to keep the rink frozen, so its own utility line was required.


As leader of the park’s design team, Urban Engineers defined what the minimum size was for a rink would be, and confirmed that it would fit in the same area as the park’s fountain.


In addition to the rink, space was needed for kiosks for skate rentals and the rink’s management.


For more information on the Rothman Institute Ice Rink, visit the Center City District’s website.