News From WRT
HOOVER-MASON TRESTLE - The City of Bethlehem and the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority, following the success of the new SteelStacks campus and Levitt Pavilion, are moving forward with the next exciting development of the former Bethlehem Steel site: a major study to determine how the historically significant Hoover-Mason Trestle can be redeveloped and revitalized. WRT, the master planners and designers of both the SteelStacks campus and Levitt Pavilion, has been engaged to provide concept design and engineering services for this study. According to Antonio Fiol-Silva, FAIA, a principal of WRT, "Our plan is to advance conceptual designs for the use of the existing structure in the development of a pedestrian-oriented promenade supporting circulation, historic interpretation and passive recreation uses and providing connectivity to existing and future potential uses in existing structures such as the Gas Blowing House, Machine Shop Number 2, and a possible future Sands Parking Garage. This project is not only about connecting what exists today, but also what will exist tomorrow."
The Hoover-Mason Trestle was identified as a significant resource for pedestrian connectivity by a panel of experts at a recently completed design forum in Baltimore sponsored by the American Architectural Foundation. In its heyday, the trestle was used to carry ore cars from the Ore Yard area - currently the site of the Sands Bethlehem Casino Resort - to the blast furnaces. It was part of an overhead material conveyance system that, for the most part, still exists. The project area will include the entire length of the Hoover-Mason Trestle, which currently extends from the recently completed Visitors Center at the Stock House to the entrance to the Sands Bethlehem hotel. The trestle owned by Sands BethWorks Retail, LLC, a separate partnership formed to redevelop the non-gaming portions of the site.
LOGAN PARKLET - The exhilarating trend of creating pop-up mini parks using activated parking spaces is no stranger to Philadelphia – “parklets” are popping up all over the city. In early September, the residents and visitors of the North Philadelphia Logan neighborhood will have a gathering space of their own: the new Logan Parklet, in front of the Logan Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Unlike parklets typically placed near restaurants or commercial areas, the Logan Parklet is built in a residential neighborhood. Designed by the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (PhilaNOMA) as part of a Community Design Intervention project started by WRT’s Marguerite Anglin, the space presents a unique opportunity to create a location in Logan that celebrates human interaction and encourages positive street activity. The parklet’s design allows for various programming and activities for people of all ages, with three distinct designated areas: “work” with cafe tables, “play” with a small stage doubled as a chalkboard palette, and “lounge” with flexible seating. Wood decking, built-in wood benches with integral planter walls, aluminum mesh panels, cable system, a chalkboard painted floor surface and tree stump seats/table tops are all part of the design. The Logan Parklet already has fall activities planned, including “Movies @ the Parklet!” every Friday in September, featuring films based on books offered at the Free Library.