City Hall Overhaul?

With the help of Councilman Darrell L. Clarke, City Hall’s Dilworth Plaza may be receiving a new look, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

According to the paper, Clarke introduced a bill to re-vamp the plaza (if Dilworth Plaza sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same plaza that has been the site of recent “Christmas” controversy), which is located on the west side of city hall.

The city intends to lease the property to the Center City District for $1 per year for 30 years, with the stipulation that the district foots the bill for the renovation and maintenance of the plaza.

Leasing the property helps secure requirements for about $16 million in state funding. The project will cost $50 million in total. The district has made an agreement with PNC for a $20 million dollar loan and intends to raise the rest of the funds through foundations and private donors, according to the paper.

The renovated plaza will feature a lawn that can be used as a concert venue, café and a fountain that will double as an ice skating rink. The plaza will also feature better lighting, an array of trees and picnic space.

President and chief executive of Center City District Paul R. Levy told the Inky that he believes the Plaza “will be like a cross between Millennium Park in Chicago and our own Rittenhouse Square.”

The project will coincide with the SEPTA’s million-dollar restoration of the subway structure located underneath city hall, reports the paper.

The council intends to vote on the bill later this month.

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