With a star-studded lineup taking the stage one block from the Reading Viaduct tomorrow evening, the Friends of the Rail Park take a huge step in making its Phase One a reality. And in a strange and bittersweet twist, this beginning marks the probable end (until the inevitable reunion) of co-headliners The Walkmen, who told the Washington Post last week that they have no plans to continue and will focus on other projects.
A cocktail reception and fashion show will begin the evening at 6PM onstage at Union Transfer, the most appropriate venue for this fundraiser. At 1026 Spring Garden, within two blocks of where the former Philadelphia & Reading Railway’s trestle weaves northeasterly through the Eraserhood, Union Transfer’s name comes from the railroad’s luggage company who occupied the building long before Spaghetti Warehouse.
The trestle’s transformation into a green space has been the dream of many a dreamer for years, but the wild popularity of New York’s High Line has perhaps spurred the expedition of these local dreams. Friends of the Rail Park, boosted by the recent merger with the Reading Viaduct Project, has led the charge with a series of events including a rally and an art exhibition by Friends board member Sarah McEneaney at Locks Gallery depicting her colorful paintings of the viaduct. Phase One involves the SEPTA Spur between 13th & Noble to where it meets up with the Reading branch near 11th Street. (See preliminary designs done last year by Studio Bryan Hanes and Urban Engineers, with Center City District, HERE.)
Tomorrow’s concert features co-headliners The Walkmen and the Sun Ra Arkestra, as well as Sharon Van Etten, Spank Rock, Birdie Busch, Light Heat, Chris Ward, Mary Lattimore, and Jeff Zeigler, and will be hosted by XPN’s Michaela Majoun. Tickets to the concert only are $30, and those for the full package (including the fashion show and cocktail reception) are $100, with all proceeds going to Friends of the Rail Park. Both can be purchased via Ticketfly HERE.