Thanks to this Philly tech collabo, we can all play chess outdoors this spring - Philly


Mar. 1, 2016 10:35 am

Thanks to this Philly tech collabo, we can all play chess outdoors this spring

You can find the chess boards in a much-needed, albeit small, public park in University City. It's all part of the Science Center's mission to transform the Market Street corridor.

A chess board at the Innovation Plaza pocket park.

(Photo by Juliana Reyes)

Here’s where we’ll be this spring: the University City Center’s new Innovation Plaza pocket park at 37th and Chestnut, playing chess on a board made by makerspace NextFab. (You can grab the chess pieces at the nearby International House.) There’s even free WiFi from Comcast, sponsored by Safeguard Scientifics.

A snowy Innovation Plaza in January.

A snowy Innovation Plaza in January. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

The pocket park, which is a public space that beckons, is one way that the Science Center s trying to turn that Market Street corridor into a bustling community where people can live, work and play. (The new public space is a notably urbanist move, but the Science Center has been criticized for its treatment of cyclists and bikes.) Over the past few years, the urban research park has added multiple restaurants and cafes, and most recently, a residential tower. One big remaining piece of the puzzle is what will replace the former Department of Making + Doing makerspace on the ground floor of 3711 Market St.


While we wait to hear that news, we’ll brush up on our chess skills.

Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes became's associate editor after reporting on the Philadelphia tech scene for four years. She's co-president of the Asian American Journalists Association Philadelphia chapter and a two-time Philadelphia News Award winner for "Community Reporting of the Year." The Bryn Mawr College grad lives in West Philly, likes her food spicy and wears jumpsuits often.


Sign-up for regular updates from

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!