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.

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Reaching For The Heavens At Cret's Tower Of Chimes

Reaching For The Heavens At Cret’s Tower Of Chimes

May 26, 2017  |  Vantage

Turn a corner in Philadelphia and you will eventually run into a building or bridge designed by Paul Phillipe Cret. Celebrated for his broad, arched infrastructure and Neoclassical landmarks, not much is discussed of his cemetery architecture. Contributor Brian Horne takes a trip out to Montgomery County where a 172-foot tower designed by Cret sends a memorial park reaching towards the sky > more

Rediscovering The Dead Fleet Of The Delaware River

Rediscovering The Dead Fleet Of The Delaware River

May 23, 2017  |  Vantage

The ships of the "Dead Fleet" at Pier 78 rise at low tide from their watery graves in the Delaware River. It's a curious sight, recalling a time when the riverbanks thrummed with a booming maritime industry. Philadelphia shipping historian Robert McNulty takes us on a salty voyage to uncover the backstory of South Philadelphia's ghost ship graveyard > more

Building A Better Future With Bright Common

Building A Better Future With Bright Common

May 19, 2017  |  Vantage

Hidden City editor Michael Bixler catches up with sustainable architect Jeremy Avellino to talk climate change, deep energy retrofits, and the power of passive house building. > more

Restoration Project Gives New Life To Ben Franklin's Grave

Restoration Project Gives New Life To Ben Franklin’s Grave

May 17, 2017  |  News

Benjamin Franklin's tombstone gets some desperately needed TLC. Tyler Horst has the story > more

Summoning The Spirit Of A Victorian Masterpiece

Summoning The Spirit Of A Victorian Masterpiece

May 15, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

Gone, but not forgotten. The Shadow channels the ghost of the Henry J. Morton Guild House, a beautiful Victorian hall designed by famed Philadelphia architects Wilson Brothers & Company > more

The Making (And Marketing) Of The Modern Gayborhood

The Making (And Marketing) Of The Modern Gayborhood

May 12, 2017  |  Vantage

Contributor Kelson Northeimer takes a look at the history of the Gayborhood and its cultural transformation through lifestyle marketing and gentrification > more