At The Hamilton, we’re proud to support the community around us. Our neighborhood, Logan Square, is packed full of vibrant places to visit.
Whether you’re looking for a museum to gaze at beautiful artwork, a nightcap at a bar, or a café for brunch, there’s no doubt there is something fun to do. We’re committed to immersing our residents in the new and exciting happenings, and that’s why we’re excited to welcome The Rail Park to the neighborhood!
The Rail Park is a vision that’s revitalizing three miles of abandoned rail lines into a usable, beautiful, public space for all. If you’re familiar with New York City’s High Line, you’ll fall in love with Philly’s Rail Park.
The rail stretches throughout ten neighborhoods, starting from 9th and Fairmount streets, winding its way above street level along the “Viaduct,” sinking down below ground through the “Cut,” (and passing by the Hamilton!) all the way through the “Tunnel” ending at 31st and Girard streets.
Philadelphia is rich with history, and The Rail Park is a standing testament to that. The abandoned rail line, once operated by the Reading Railroad Company, served both freight and passenger trains in the late 1800s. Almost a century later, it was abandoned, leaving three miles of wasted space throughout the city.
Looking to make its unique mark in the nation’s surge towards urban rails-to-trails projects like New York’s High Line, Atlanta’s BeltLine, and Chicago’s 606, the Friends of the Rail Park, a community-based, nonprofit organization, was created to help shepherd the development and programming of the park for generations to come. Leveraging resources through the Civic Commons Initiative and the Highline Network, the Friends of the Rail Park is charged with reimagining the full three miles into a beautiful urban greenspace.
As of now, Phase 1 along the Viaduct is complete and ready for you to enjoy. You can take a stroll starting at Noble street, just east of Broad street. This quarter-mile stretch above street level features sleek benches, countless wildflowers, impressive artwork, and, best of all, industrial swings that look over an impressive mural by Shepard Fairey. It’s the perfect spot to read a book or catch up with a friend.
We spoke to Kevin Dow, Executive Director at Friends of the Rail Park, to learn how Philadelphians have reacted to the Rail Park thus far. “The community’s response has been very positive and galvanizing,” he said.
“Residents from the immediate area, those from neighborhoods across the city, and people from throughout the region are excited about the Rail Park’s future. They have experienced a small taste of what’s possible from the opening of Phase 1, and they’re hungry for more of the full three miles to be completed.”
The Rail Park will bring many perks for residents of The Hamilton. With twice the width and double the length of NYC’s High Line, the Rail Park will offer running and bicycling lanes for those who prefer their exercise with a side of fresh air and gorgeous views.
Dog owners will have a vibrant place to let their furry friends run around. Plus, residents looking for fun, community-based activities can participate in many of the arts, education, culture, health, and wellness classes soon to come from the Friends of The Rail Park.
“The future of the Rail Park is full of potential, which really excites me,” Dow added. “I look forward to engaging the residents of the communities around the Rail Park in dreaming about the future and envisioning what it could and should be.”
Keep an eye on the Rail Park’s website for future events happening this winter and upcoming spring.
We are in love with Phase 1, and we can’t wait to see what’s next!
All photos courtesy of Friends of the Rail Park.