The City of Philadelphia approached Studio Bryan Hanes to assist in the investigation of existing conditions and the creation of a Master Plan for the Callowhill/North Chinatown neighborhoods of Philadelphia.  The site is complex, with significant challenges.  As one of the more “forgotten” areas of center city Philadelphia, the area contains a number of “superblocks” comprised of large warehouses and numerous parking lots.  Additionally, the Reading Viaduct abandoned rail line and I-676 fall within the site boundaries.  Public open space amenities are severely lacking for residents in the area.

Studio Bryan Hanes was particularly interested in creating large scale stormwater solutions for the area along with housing opportunities that would allow for the expansion of Chinatown north of Interstate 676. The interstate is an imposing boundary for the neighborhood.

The master plan involved the addition of 9 new public spaces, a re-envisioning of Willow Ave. as a “stormwater spine,” a division of the imposing superblocks, revitalized business districts along Spring Garden Street and Ridge Avenue, and a new elevated park located along the abandoned Reading Viaduct that brings cohesion to the area. Construction of phase 1 of the elevated Rail Park was completed in 2018.


Location: Philadelphia, PA

Engineer: URS