University City keeps getting greener and greener. Just a couple of weeks after we reported on the groundbreaking of Spruce Street Plaza, the University of Pennsylvania dedicated Shoemaker Green, an $8.5 million makeover of a plot on 33rd Street between Spruce and Walnut, just down the block.
Penn students, faculty and staff flocked to Shoemaker Green, named after one of Penn’s emeritus trustees, on the afternoon of September 20th to a picnic-themed event with chock full of hot dogs, quesadillas, and iced tea. The 2.75-acre space is an expanse of lawns, tree-lined walkways, and sitting areas. Situated between the Palestra and Franklin Field, It connects Penn’s main campus to Penn Park, which was completed last year.
The green, near Franklin Field
Part of Penn’s plan to create a more sustainable campus, Shoemaker Green has porous pavers and a rain garden to capture rainwater run-off and recycle it in a cistern system to irrigate the lawns. That should keep the grass plush and green for picnics and special events. The green replaces the Hunter Lott Tennis Courts, which were moved to a new location, in the middle of Penn Park.
Lots of folks came out to the event
The green is one of a dozen streetscape projects included in Penn Connects, an ambitious vision – that has quickly become reality – to improve and transform the Ivy League campus and the surrounding community. Employees and students of Penn, Drexel, and HUP, as well as denizens of nearby neighborhoods now have more and more green places to enjoy West Philadelphia.