Reporting Cherri Gregg
By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Construction is set to begin on a pier park on the Delaware River near Washington Avenue. The groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday.
The Washington Avenue waterfront is the site of the country’s first Navy Yard, and from the 1870s through the first World War, it served as Philadelphia’s first immigration station. The pier was the final point of entry for more than a million new Americans.
“It was Philadelphia’s version of Ellis Island,” says Mayor Michael Nutter, “but as the pier was abandoned it unfortunately became unused and was slowly reclaimed by nature.”
Nutter says by next summer, the overgrowth will be replaced by an elevated boardwalk, public art, signage acknowledging the pier’s history, habitats for fish and wildlife and much more.
“The pier will once again become usable public space and a symbol of Philadelphia’s resurgence,” he says.
Delaware River Waterfront Corporation President Tom Corcoran says the view will be breathtaking.
“Visitors will be able to climb on a 16 foot platform that will provide additional views of the river and
the park,” he says.
The new pier will cost $2.1 million and is the first in South Philadelphia. A second park Pier 68 is already in the works and expected to open next year.
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