Greetings From…Park(ing) Day 2012…Wish You Were Here

Editor’s Note: Meant to make us think a little about the uses of public space, Park(ing) Day 2012 is the fifth annual Philadelphia version of the event, which began in 2005 in San Francisco. This year 49 teams from design firms, city agencies, and advocacy organizations signed up to create 59 mini-parks out of what are on every other day of the year parking spaces. Not all of the groups followed through on their plans, but photographer Dominic Mercier checked in with more than a dozen ephemeral civic spaces and returned with the photos below.

1600 block of Walnut St. | Photo: Dominic Mercier

Broad St. between Walnut and Locust | Photo: Dominic Mercier

17th and Market St. | Photo: Dominic Mercier

12th St. between Market and Arch | Photo: Dominic Mercier

1300 block of Walnut St.

1300 block of Walnut St. | Photo: Dominic Mercier

16th and Arch | Photo: Dominic Mercier

16th and Arch | Photo: Dominic Mercier

1500 block of Market St. | Photo: Dominic Mercier

800 block of Walnut St. | Photo: Dominic Mercier

600 block of Chestnut St. | Photo: Dominic Mercier

1500 block of Walnut St. | Photo: Dominic Mercier

1900 block of Walnut St. | Photo: Dominic Mercier

700 block of Chestnut St. | Photo: Dominic Mercier

About the author

Dominic Mercier is a freelance writer, photographer, and graphic designer and Philadelphia native. He is a 2001 graduate of Temple University, where he majored in journalism. He is the former managing editor of Montgomery Newspapers and press officer at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He currently serves as the communications director for the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. More of his photographic work can be seen here

Send a message!



6 Comments


  1. Just what Philadelphia needs – fewer places to park. PC silliness at best.

  2. Exactly what Philly NEEDS! A few less cars in CC!
    Contrary to popular opinion, we have an excellent transit system
    and (slowly) growing bike lanes. Let’s make use of them.
    Silly? Maybe, but it makes one think.
    Good coverage of this from fellow HC contributor, Dominic Mercier.

  3. “A few less cars” – no what the Bicycle Coalition and their Friends want is to get rid of cars, period.

    In the meantime the suburbs continue to flourish – when was the last time anyone chose to shop in town rather than the malls?

  4. This is awesome. Hopefully the city will start to reclaiming car space for everyone space.

  5. I go downtown to shop all the time, using public transit. I can’t remember the last time I went to the mall, but it was years ago. The bike coalition isn’t coming to take anyone’s car away…

  6. Thank you for posting. We had 6 spots, and 4 locations up in Germantown, and all were really well-attended and well received by the community. Looking forward to next year.

Recent Posts
Historical Commission Hardship Meeting Puts Sloan Mansion One Step Closer To Demolition

Historical Commission Hardship Meeting Puts Sloan Mansion One Step Closer To Demolition

December 19, 2014  |  Buzz

The days might be numbered for the Samuel Sloan-designed John P. Levy House at 40th and Pine. Today the Historical Commission's Hardship Committee approved a recommendation that could clear the way for the Italliante mansion's demolition > more

Travels Through The Ghost City

Travels Through The Ghost City

December 19, 2014  |  Last Light

The wrecking ball and the crane seem to be the symbols of the year as Philadelphia's built landscape changes--in some places at a furious pace. Architect Andrew Evans has been paying attention--his time-lapse images capture the process as the new replaces the old > more

Baking Yuletide Cheer At Potito's

Baking Yuletide Cheer At Potito’s

December 19, 2014  |  Last Light

There is nothing like lining up to buy baked goods in South Philly during the holidays. Theresa Stigale has this photo essay about Potito's, a classic, family-owned neighborhood bakery at 16th and Ritner > more

Temple Police Treading An Expanded Beat These Days

Temple Police Treading An Expanded Beat These Days

December 18, 2014  |  Morning Blend

North Philly university moves to protect its off-campus students from violent crime, DVRPC approves I-95 capping study, Nightingale Properties to rebrand Seven Penn Center, and a “Little Farm” expands in South Kensington > more

With Churches Fast Disappearing In Fishtown, A Chance To See What's At Stake

With Churches Fast Disappearing In Fishtown, A Chance To See What’s At Stake

December 18, 2014  |  News

What to do with all the churches? With the imminent loss of another Fishtown church, New Kensington Community Development Corporation wants you to see what's at stake--join them for a post-holiday tour. Michael Bixler reports > more

Transforming The Schuylkill

Transforming The Schuylkill

December 17, 2014  |  Morning Blend

A re-bridging of sorts for the Central Schuylkill, good news for South Philly ship, Liberty Square work begins, and the lax enforcement of condos’ Christmas tree ban > more