Read About Penn Park! (philly.com)
Read About Penn Park! (Daily Pennsylvanian)
Philadelphia Inquirer Praises Penn Park Idea!
PHILADELPHIA - After months of planning, the University of Pennsylvania has announced firm plans for Penn Park, the land east of Franklin Field and The Palestra that the University purchased from the U.S. Postal Service a few years ago.
The model for Penn Park was presented to the University's trustees in late February 2009 by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the landscape architecture firm that will design the project. Penn Park is a $40 million, 24-acre project that will integrate three multi-use athletic/recreation fields in a park-like setting to serve as the athletic hub of campus. It is part of the University's Penn Connects urban-development initiative.
Penn Park will feature the fields, at least two made of a synthetic grass surface and onewhichcanbe covered bya dome or bubble during the winter months; a 12-court tennis center; a softball stadium; sand volleyball courts; and possibly a ropes course. In addition, through Penn Connects, the park proposes to have elevated handicapped-accessible berms in order to guide pedestrians and bicyclists into the park.
The park will be open to University use, and the athletic fields will be used for varsity, club and intramural competition, practices, and public access at specific times.
"Historically, this has been one of Penn's greatest needs,"athletic director Steve Bilsky told The Daily Pennsylvanian. "Penn Park tackles it in a wonderful way that will do justice to this campus."
According to Penn President Amy Gutmann, "Penn Park will dramatically enhance our athletic and recreational amenities, create a beautiful new campus gateway, and further link University City and Center City. This is the first time that Penn, by design, has acquired land that will remain as open space; that has tremendous environmental benefits for our campus and our city."