Eakins Oval transformed into the “Park on the Parkway”
Philadelphia, July 11, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter officially announced details for The Oval, an initiative to provide programming and amenities at Eakins Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Joined by City Council President Darrell Clarke, Deputy Mayor for Environmental & Community Resources Michael DiBerardinis, and Fairmount Park Conservancy Executive Director Kathryn Ott Lovell, Mayor Nutter shared the vision for the new ‘Park on the Parkway’ and what guests can expect to enjoy this summer.
“The Oval is the first of many exciting enhancements made to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in support of our action plan, More Park Less Way,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “We want the Parkway to be a neighborhood park for all Philadelphians that is wonderfully designed, connected to the community, offers a wide array of activities and amenities, and features park space that people can easily access. I encourage everyone to visit The Oval this summer and experience the new shape of fun.”
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PP&R), in partnership with the Fairmount Park Conservancy and with support from the William Penn Foundation, has worked to transform Eakins Oval, located directly across the street from the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, from a surface parking lot into “The Oval: the new shape of fun,” full of community programming and activities for people of all ages to enjoy.
“I would like to thank our many partners who have worked with us to transform The Oval into this wonderful programmable public space,” said Deputy Mayor DiBerardinis. “During this summer and into the fall, The Oval will feature a wide variety of new programs and amenities with the goal of making Eakins Oval the community-friendly center of a revived, welcoming Benjamin Franklin Parkway.”
Eakins Oval serves as an intersection between some of Philadelphia’s biggest tourist attractions including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rocky statue, the Barnes Foundation, the Franklin Institute, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Rodin Museum. The space also welcomes some of Philadelphia’s biggest public events, including Wawa Welcome America! Festival’s Philly 4th of July Jam, the Made In America music festival, and a variety of charity run/walks.
“The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is one of Philadelphia’s most important cultural spaces,” said Ms. Ott Lovell. “More than 70,000 Philadelphians live within a ten-minute walk of Eakins Oval, and transforming this space into The Oval will connect and unify the attractions and surrounding neighborhoods by giving people the opportunity to stay, eat, and play in the eight-acre open air park programmed with entertainment and activities for all ages.”
“The Oval: the new shape of fun,” will be activated as a park with programming, events, and activities for adults and children of all ages for 12 hours per day, Tuesday through Sunday, for five consecutive weeks beginning on July 17, 2013 through August 18, 2013. Programming will include live musical performances, interactive arts and cultural activities, fun fitness and wellness activities, movie nights, beer gardens, miniature golf, mobile farming and much more.
To transform the space into an urban oasis, the parking-lot surface area of The Oval will be painted in three different beach themes: a beach, a blanket, and a boardwalk. The ‘beach’ section will include sandboxes, spray-misters, and lifeguard chairs. The ‘blanket’ will include café tables, chairs, and umbrellas, as well as oversized board games such as chess, checkers, Twister, ping-pong, a chalkboard, and corn-hole bean bag toss sets. The ‘boardwalk’ will host food trucks, the PP&R “Showmobile”, as well as additional seating for eating and lounging. In addition to the beach-themed area, The Lawn will be positioned around the beach featuring Adirondack chairs, volleyball, badminton, bocce and miniature golf.
For more information about The Oval and its programming, please visit www.phila.gov/theoval or call (215) 683-3600. “Like” The Oval on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheOvalPHL or “Follow” The Oval on Twitter @TheOvalPHL.
About The Oval:
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, in partnership with the Fairmount Park Conservancy, debuts the City of Philadelphia’s new “Park on the Parkway” in mid-July 2013. Located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Eakins Oval (2601 Benjamin Franklin Parkway) will be transformed from a surface parking lot into “The Oval,” a hip urban oasis full of activities for people of all ages to enjoy. “The Oval” will be activated as a park with community programming, events, and activities for 12 hours per day, Tuesday through Sunday, for five consecutive weeks beginning on July 17, 2013 through August 18, 2013, with additional pop-up activities in September and October 2013. Programming will include live musical performances, interactive arts and culture activities, fun fitness and wellness activities, movie nights, beer gardens, miniature golf, mobile farming and much more. For more information about The Oval, please visit www.phila.gov/theoval or call (215) 683-3600. “Like” The Oval on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheOvalPHL or “Follow” The Oval on Twitter @TheOvalPHL.