Before the wooden boardwalk and lounge-style swings transformed a strip of the old Reading Viaduct into the Rail Park, videographer Cory Popp was already a fan of the Callowhill public space.
“I’ve been a frequent explorer of the Rail Park (the viaduct as we called it back then) since 2010 when I fell in love with it after my first visit,” Popp said. “I’ve always had this obsession with finding beautiful places hidden in plain sight and the Rail Park was perfect for that.”
On Thursday, as Phase 1 of the Rail Park officially opened up to the the public, Popp was there — drone and steadycam in hand — to capture the rebirth of the elevated park on a beautiful, sunny day.
WE’RE OPEN! pic.twitter.com/eufEFLAZA4
— The Rail Park (@TheRailPark) June 14, 2018
“I’ve always loved the contrast between the viaduct with its bright green overgrowth and rusty decaying infrastructure, with the pristine downtown skyscrapers,” Popp said via email. “A little bit of the mystery is gone, but I’m happy that all Philadelphians will get a chance to experience the unique park,”
Here’s the insufferably pretty vid:
The project, slated to span 10 neighborhoods upon completion, has been in the works for eight years. Phase 1, a $10.8-million project designed by Studio Bryan Hanes and Urban Engineers, starts across from the former Philadelphia Inquirer building at Broad and Noble streets, includes the 1300 block of Noble, and runs southeast across 12th and 13th streets to Callowhill Street.
“Every community deserves to have vibrant, public spaces where everyone is welcomed,” said Mayor Jim Kenney at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “This park will not only help anchor Callowhill and the surrounding area, it will also serve as a stimulus for commercial and residential development in the neighborhood”