By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia city officials cut the ribbon on a brand new park on Thursday, where a high-rise public housing project once stood.

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Hawthorne Park occupies a square city block at 12th and Catherine Streets.

There was a children’s choir and a lot of speeches, but 3-year-old Hunter Haynes was oblivious. He spent the ribbon-cutting ceremony gleefully running through the 19-thousand square feet of freshly laid sod with family friend Jiana Waters.

“It’s beautiful,” says Waters. “It was nice to see it start out from nothing and then every time you drive by it, something has been added, and then the grass came over night.”

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The $2-million transformation is the end of a long process that began in 1999 when the old Martin Luther King Plaza was torn down. Mayor Nutter says it’s an asset for the neighborhood and the city.

“Hawthorne Park is a milestone in our sustainability plan and making this city the beautiful place that we want it to be,” Nutter says.

It’s the fourth park the city opened in 2012.

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