Frankford Pause is a land reuse project meant to create an outdoor venue as a hub of community activity for social gatherings, public performances and art displays.
State Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D-2nd dist.) last week presented a $100,000 Commonwealth Financing Authority grant that will enable the Frankford Community Development Corporation to convert a formerly vacant lot into a permanent “pause” park.
The park is next to the Frankford CDC’s headquarters at 4667 Paul St., adjacent to the the Frankford Avenue business district.
The office of state Rep. Jason Dawkins (D-179th dist.) is also located in the Paul Street building, and he joined Tartaglione in presenting the check to CDC executive director Kimberly Washington.
Frankford Pause is a land reuse project conceived by the FCDC in collaboration with the City Planning Commission’s Destination Frankford arts-based initiative. The vision is to create an outdoor venue as a hub of community activity with flexible space for social gatherings, public performances and art displays.
The park is on the site of a former diner that was damaged by fire and later demolished. It became a dumping ground, and the city took ownership. The CDC leases it from the Department of Public Property.
Tartaglione believes the park will beautify Frankford Avenue and bring people together, and can play a role in the neighborhood’s renaissance, with the CDC leading the way.
“That’s what they’re going to do, one block at a time,” she said.
Washington describes Frankford as an “emerging” community, noting that it is just south of gentrifying neighborhoods. She expects a cafe to move into the CDC headquarters by the summer. She hopes the park will bring people back to the avenue and spur small business investment.
“The park is a sign of the revitalization of Frankford Avenue. We care about our public spaces,” she said.
Dawkins said the park is another sign of progress by Washington and the CDC, which he said has been “piecing together” various neighborhood improvements.
“We need to keep a CDC in the Frankford area,” he said. “It’s definitely been making huge strides. It’s a change agent revamping the community.”
The park project is part of FCDC’s broader revitalization effort known as Reimagining Margaret & Orthodox, which includes business façade improvements, streetscaping and reducing blight.
The park will feature planters, a planting garden, a lawn, a performance stage, seating, play areas and lighting. A street festival in June will celebrate the park and the renovated building that houses the CDC, Dawkins’ office and the planned cafe. ••