By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dilworth Park, which recently replaced the old Dilworth Plaza on the west apron of Philadelphia City Hall, is trying to be more user-friendly.

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Two new elevators allow for easier access between the plaza at street level and the transit concourse below.

“It is fundamental that everyone has the right to access everything,” said German Parodi (at lectern below) of the handicapped-advocacy group Disabled in Action.

(German Parodi speaks at elevator dedication.  Photo by Steve Tawa)

(German Parodi speaks at elevator dedication. Photo by Steve Tawa)


Rocco Iacullo, of the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, says that nearly 25 years after passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, universal access is becoming the rule rather than the exception.

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“This park represents the full integration and equality of people with disabilities,” he said.

With the new elevators and stairs, both sheltered by clear glass headhouses, the hub connects the surface streets with entrances to the Market-Frankford and Broad Street subway lines and transit hub below. The two new elevators add to the three already placed in service nearby.

The newly transformed Dilworth Park reopened to the public two months ago, after a two-year, $55-million renovation.

And, this Friday, just in time for the big chill in the weather forecast, the ice skating rink at Dilworth Park will open for the season.  It’s about the same size as the rink at Rockefeller Center in New York — about 60 feet by 120 feet.

It will have a warming tent, skate rentals, skate parties, and even a learn-to-skate program.

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The skating season will run through February 22nd.