Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee Announces Beautification Projects Along Broad Street Ahead of the Democratic National Convention

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention today announced beautification efforts that will take place along North and South Broad Streets in advance of the Democratic National Convention. Beginning at City Hall, North Broad will be treated with a special planting and garden walk, thanks to a partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.  The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program will paint the raised median along South Broad, which is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Additionally, Center City District will install a temporary patriotic lighting display on the south façade of City Hall. Renderings of the each of the projects can be found here.

“It is very important that the Convention has a positive impact on the Philadelphia community, and these Broad Street beautification projects are some of the ways the Host Committee will achieve that goal,” said former Pennsylvania Governor and Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee Chair Ed Rendell. “We are thrilled to be able to refurbish part of one of the city’s main thoroughfares for our residents and visitors to enjoy and grateful to our partners and supporters for their help.”

“The Convention provides us with a great opportunity to continue the city’s ongoing beautification efforts taking place across the city,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Enhancing parts of North and South Broad Street will enable the Convention to have a lasting impact on the streetscape of a main corridor running through the city. I’m grateful to the Host Committee and all our partners for making this a priority as we prepare for the Convention this summer.”

“Philadelphians are a can-do people, and  ’m so pleased that Roots to Re-Entry will be involved in this beautification project,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke. “I thank Philadelphia 2016, PHS, and the generous donor who made this project possible for doing more than just sprucing up the area. This is an investment in people and in communities that I hope will be replicated across our City as we prepare to welcome the world for the DNC.”

North Broad Beautification

On the north side of City Hall, the Host Committee is partnering with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Department of Public Property to transform a main thoroughfare for Philadelphians and Convention delegates into a more aesthetically appealing experience for pedestrians. The focus area of this project is the corridor along Broad Street between Race Street and JFK Boulevard, leading from the Pennsylvania Convention Center to City Hall.

Reyburn Plaza, on the west side of Broad Street, will be rehabbed with improvements to streetscape, turf restoration, and new perennial garden plantings. In addition, 52 planters will be installed on both sides of Broad Street from City Hall to the Convention Center.

Helping with the garden walk project will be Roots to Re-Entry, a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society program that provides citizens transitioning from the local prison system back into their communities with the tools and support they need to obtain meaningful employment in the horticulture and landscape industries.

Work for this project is already underway, and plantings will begin on June 23rd, organized with a Roots to Re-Entry crew.

“This beautification effort is the beginning of a larger plan for this section of Broad Street, and PHS is grateful to the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for this opportunity to work with partners who have a shared vision for Center City’s public spaces,” said PHS President Matt Rader.

The North Broad project is being made possible thanks to a grant from Jody McNeil Lewis, a local philanthropist and arts supporter, through the Joanna McNeil Trust, as well as funds for ongoing maintenance of the garden walk.

“I am proud to support this important project that will transform the look and feel of this gateway to City Hall,” said Jody McNeil Lewis.  “Though we are completing this work in time for the Convention, I am particularly pleased that this project will be enjoyed by all Philadelphians for years to come.

South Broad Beautification

On the south side of City Hall, running down the center of South Broad Street, the Host Committee partnered with The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program to install a mile-long temporary mural on the raised median, which will serve as a vibrant gateway between City Hall and South Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention.

The mural, entitled 14 Movements: A Symphony in Color and Words, and created by mural artist Mat Tomezsko, a Tyler School of Art graduate, will be painted on a temporary vinyl ground covering that will stretch a total of 14 blocks, from City Hall to Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia. Installation of the ground mural will begin June 20th and take about a month to complete.

“The 14 Movements mural on South Broad will bring bold color and energy to one of the liveliest streets in Philadelphia, and will demonstrate to the nation and to the world that our city is one that champions the value of beauty in public space,” said Jane Golden, Executive Director of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. “We are so grateful to Governor Ed Rendell, the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee, and Knight Foundation for this marvelous opportunity as the city hosts a historic moment in the 2016 election.”

Support for the project forms one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to help cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of engagement. It adds to larger funding from Knight Foundation aimed at promoting Philadelphia’s arts and cultural sector during the Convention.

“The mural will help to showcase local talent, while connecting the neighborhoods along Broad Street. It leverages an important event to improve public space in Philadelphia and add to our city’s vibrancy,” said Patrick Morgan, Philadelphia program director for Knight Foundation.

City Hall Lighting

On the South facade of City Hall, Center City District will install a temporary red, white and blue lighting array, which will include a programmable color-changing wash of the tower with moving lights and projected gobo images.

“We are delighted that the DNC is enabling us to expand the very popular South Broad lighting onto the historic facade of City Hall on a temporary basis, enabling a demonstration of what could be possible on a permanent basis,” said Paul Levy, President and CEO of Center City District.

Lighting will be active from dusk to 4:00 a.m. each night from July 23 -28. The lighting will be connected through wireless antenna technology to the existing Avenue of the Arts lighting system to provide a synchronized display of patriotic colors along South Broad Street.

The Democratic National Convention will take place in Philadelphia July 25-28, 2016.

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