Focusing On The Petty

 

On Petty and the smart makers

Looking north across Petty’s Island in the Delaware River; Betsy Ross and Delair Bridges upper left | Photo: Bradley Maule

Captain Blackbeard, whales, the slave trade, Quaker duels, Ben Franklin, Lenni-Lenape and Susquehannock, Hugo Chavez, Jon Corzine, the oil industry . . . the historical roll call at Petty’s Island is wild and disjointed, yet outside the employees of the Citgo and Crowley corporations, few of us have ever set foot on the 300-acre island less than a mile from the shores of Fishtown. That will change starting in 2020, when the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust takes ownership of the island. Exactly how that will look is still at least five years away, but this year’s competitors in the Better Philadelphia Challenge (formerly the Ed Bacon Student Urban Design Competition) took a stab at envisioning it. The winning team will receive its $5,000 prize at tomorrow night’s Ed Bacon Awards Ceremony.

Contestants were encouraged to imagine Petty’s Island with considerations for best use of the land, transportation and access to it, and given its known future as a preserve, environmental stewardship and planning for climate change. And they took note of its geographic relationship to Pennsauken, of which it is technically part, Camden, and Philadelphia. But the study area wasn’t limited to the island itself. Directly across the Delaware River and running nearly parallel to the length of the island, Philadelphia has 220 acres of unused riverfront land of its own. Just north of Penn Treaty Park and PECO’s Delaware Station, the former Cramp Shipyard grounds (site of the failed Wynn casino proposal) and Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Port Richmond yards (site of the “Graffiti Pier”) comprise a vast swath of contiguous land begging for rebirth. At least on paper, the 2015 Better Philadelphia Challenge will bring these communities and opportunities together.

The other portion of the evening will honor this year’s recipient of the Ed Bacon Prize, Judith Rodin. In 1994, Rodin was the first woman to head an Ivy League school when she became President of the University of Pennsylvania. (Her successor, Amy Gutmann, took over when Rodin left the position in 2004.) Since 2005, Rodin has been the president of the Rockefeller Foundation, one of New York’s largest philanthropic organizations, and last year, she authored The Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong, a book that looks at how cities think and adapt to modern and future challenges like climate change.

* * *

The Edmund N. Bacon Awards Ceremony will be held at Moore College of Art & Design tomorrow night, Wednesday February 18th, at 6:30pm. To register, go HERE.

About the author

Bradley Maule is co-editor of the Hidden City Daily and the creator of Philly Skyline. He's a native of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, and he's hung his hat in Shippensburg, Germantown, G-Ho, Fishtown, Portland OR, Brewerytown, and now Mt. Airy. He just can't get into Twitter, but he's way into Instagram @mauleofamerica.



3 Comments


  1. Petty’s Island also has a rum named after it, distilled in an old garage in downtown Camden that’s really worth checking out. The distiller, James Yoakum of South Philly, is a great guy who loves to give tours and host people in his space. Check it out when it’s warmer as part of Camden’s Third Thursday arts crawl.

  2. Nice try James..

Leave a Reply

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

 

Recent Posts
Learning From Dilworth Park's Water Magic

Learning From Dilworth Park’s Water Magic

June 27, 2016  |  Soapbox

Thérèse d'Auria Ryley examines how Philadelphia's relationship with water fountains and rivers is redefining the way urban planners design public space > more

At The Navy Yard, A Spectacular Speculative Office

At The Navy Yard, A Spectacular Speculative Office

June 24, 2016  |  Morning Blend

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels takes Saffron through 1200 Intrepid Avenue, state donkeys coming to Philadelphia for convention month, SEPTA cameras a money saver, and public pools start opening > more

<em>Rowhouse Workshop</em> Examines The Anatomy Of A Neighborhood Icon

Rowhouse Workshop Examines The Anatomy Of A Neighborhood Icon

June 24, 2016  |  Vantage

Armed with a 2016 grant from Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, architect Brian Phillips sets out to survey the ins and outs of the Philadelphia row house > more

Latest Conceptual Design For St Rita's Parcel Well Received

Latest Conceptual Design For St Rita’s Parcel Well Received

June 23, 2016  |  Morning Blend

Renderings presented of proposed senior housing at St. Rita’s of Cascia, using murals to fill the Spring Arts District donut hole, and an end of delays to Cianfrani Park's renovation > more

City Readies Holmesburg For Convention Protestors

City Readies Holmesburg For Convention Protestors

June 22, 2016  |  Morning Blend

Holmesburg Prison ready for convention protestors, sanctioned urban exploration in Brewerytown, DRPA to decide on 9/11 memorial, and Trolley Tunnel Blitz comes early this year > more

First Run: Camden's Claim As Birthplace Of The Drive-in Theater

First Run: Camden’s Claim As Birthplace Of The Drive-in Theater

June 22, 2016  |  Vantage

Drive-in theaters were once synonymous with American automobile culture, summertime, and Saturday night. Now, only approximately 338 are still in operation today. Contributor Bart Everts takes us across the river to Camden where the world's first drive-in was designed and patented > more