Now that Franklin Paine’s skate park is under construction and is poised to open by this summer, plans for additional skate parks have surfaced. Today, we have some info on the Grays Ferry Crescent Skate Park project, which will create a roughly 3,500 sqft skate park along the Grays Ferry Crescent. You may remember, we once took a photo-tour of this half-mile trail that runs along the east bank of the Schuylkill from 34th to Wharton Streets back when it first opened.
Location of the trail
“It’s on the top of our list right now,” said Claire Laver, executive director of Franklin Paine’s Skate Park Fund. “It’s been in the hopper for a while.” According to Laver, the park is in the final stages of being approved. It represents a collaboration between various civic and city groups including Grays…
We’ve mentioned the Forgotten Bottom neighborhood a couple of times in the past, but it’s not an area that often shows up on anybody’s radar. The little neighborhood, tucked between Grays Ferry Ave., I-76, and the Schuylkill River, is tricky to find and easy to miss. Along with a few hundred homes, the neighborhood features a newish baseball field, a rather large FedEx building, and the year-old entrance to the Dupont Crescent section of the Schuylkill River Trail.
What we don’t see a whole lot of in this neighborhood is residential development, particularly of the new construction variety. So you can imagine our surprise when we noticed three Forgotten Bottom properties, 3536-40 Wharton St., on the zoning docket.
Signs up, too
The same lots, looking
A reader tipped us off to some orange zoning notices on a rather large, one story warehouse building at 2501 Wharton St.
The building pictured above is part of a fairly large complex that takes up 3/4 of the block and includes an auto body shop, an engineering company, and some other industrial-types of businesses. From what we can gather looking at their zoning application, The Dog Wish LLC is hoping to join those businesses at this location. We’re assuming the frontage for the business would be Wharton St., but it could also be 25th St. or Oakford St.
The proposed business will offer dog day care services, with grooming, training, and boarding. A dog run is also planned for the site, replacing nine parking spaces inside the complex. Dog Wish will also have retail offerings. We don’t know whether the…
As you’re probably aware, we scour the zoning applications every week to find new and exciting development news to pass along to you good people. We see all kinds of requests for variances, but rarely do we see an application like that for 1103 S. 31st St., a request to create an Adult Cabaret in an existing Auto Body & Fender Shop. Our first task in finding out more about this application was to actually locate this address. If you have a poor sense of direction like we do, you’ll agree that the diagonal-then-horizontal nature of Grays Ferry Ave. sometimes makes it a little tough to find what you’re looking for in that neck of the woods. And that is why God made maps.
The address is question in on the eastern side of 31st St., just north of Grays…
In Forgotten Bottom, a barely reachable corner of the city, a mysterious and impassible pedestrian bridge from ages past looms over the neighborhood. In the tiny enclave of rowhomes trapped between the Schuylkill River, Grays Ferry Bridge/Ave., and a massive freight train trench, lies a piece of Philadelphia from an earlier age.
In the (very) early 20th Century, when this neighborhood first developed, there were concerns about access to this tiny district. A highway overpass already existed at Wharton Street but the rest of the area was still relatively inaccessible from the east. It was decided in 1915 that a pedestrian bridge should be built that would connect Reed Street on either side of the B & O Railroad tracks. $12,500 was set aside to build the 8 foot wide, 174 foot long steel truss span ($204K in today’s dollars).…
The orange line is the new section of the trail
Running from Wharton St., under Grays Ferry Ave., and terminating at 34th St., the Dupont Crescent is the newest section of the Schuylkill River Trail. This section is not likely to get much attention or attract many visitors in the near future mostly due to its access points being in the middle of a little-known neighborhood and off the heavily trafficked 34th St. Also, because it lacks a connection to the existing trail which ends on Locust St., no one is likely to stumble upon this attractive slice of park next to the river.
Schematic for the park
We decided to check the new park out for ourselves. While the greenery seemed a little thirsty, and some details seemed unfinished, the park was a wonderful…