Walking downtown on Market Street can be overwhelming, the buildings, the people, the traffic, the triple X movie theater… And on your way to wherever you’re going there’s a lot to miss! On my way to pick up my boyfriend’s bicycle yesterday afternoon (don’t ask), I discovered something new. That old, vacant lot at 20th and Market Street looked a little spiffier!
This lot has been abandoned for a number of years, always surrounded by a fence with rumors of development swirling around. First intended to primarily be a condo building when it was bought by Opus East in 2005, in 2005 plans changed and thankfully ground had not yet been broken. Opus East went bankrupt and another company, local this time, Brandywine Realty Trust acquired the 33,746 sq. foot lot. Currently Brandywine has not published plans for the property, but a temporary installation has taken up residence in the space.
The Philadelphia Horticultural Society, partnering with Philly Homegrown, has planted a garden here. And this garden is serious- called “PHS Pops Up,” it is a full service green space in the middle of the city. Offering free tours, events, and even workshops, PHS Pops Up is designed to showcase different themes of gardening: fruits and vegetables, containers, planting and harvesting, and more.
If you haven’t walked by, you should. The display is quite impressive, not to mention green. It’s a nice relief from all the concrete that makes up center city. In addition, it’s nice to see something some beautiful life in a lot that was previously so barren and deserted for so long.
I took a few pictures, but really you should check out PHC’s Flickr page. The picture quality they have is a few notches better than my iPhone 3G. http://www.flickr.com//photos/visitphilly/sets/72157626954779270/show/