Rebecca Mah

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The Rail Park

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If you've never heard of the Rail Park, the best way to describe it is 'Philadelphia's version of the High Line'. The first section of the park, which officially opened to the public in June, is a 1/4 mile stretch of spacious pathways with greenery, seating areas, and great views of the city. The full park will eventually span 3 miles on an abandoned railroad line, connecting 10 neighborhoods from Poplar to Brewerytown. 

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The section of the park open right now (known as Phase One) celebrates the history of the viaduct, which was originally built in the 1890s. The entrance at Broad and Noble is marked by a long metal art installation designed by Cloud Gehshan that depicts the neighborhood's industrial history.

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There is an industrial feel throughout, found in the steel platforms, benches, and guardrails. Studio Bryan Hanes, which helped with planning and designing the park, explained that corten steel was used because it will rust to a color like the old catenaries. Ipe, a tropical hardwood, was used because the chunky dimensions are reminiscent of rail ties. 

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PhillyRebecca Mah