By Lauren Deutsch

On Friday June 27th the Spruce Street Harbor Park, a new, highly anticipated, pop-up green space on the Tidal Delaware River officially opened to the public. The much-hyped project has captivated Philadelphia’s attention and offers an example as to what future waterfront development could look like for the city. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) is the lead organization behind the pier’s transformation into what will be one of Philadelphia’s most beloved summer destinations.

sshpThe maritime themed park features a number of distinct zones with activities that appeal to visitors of all ages. There’s a boardwalk lined with former shipping containers that have been modified into pseudo-storefronts where visitors can buy hot dogs, ice cream, and beers, or venture inside the containers to play arcade games. Closer to the water one will encounter the park’s centerpiece: a lushly landscaped floating bar and restaurant. The restaurant, The Blue Anchor, named after one of the first taverns in Philadelphia, is run by the Garces Restaurant group and features a unique cantilevered net lounge suspended over the water. Don’t worry about loosing your cell phone or keys – the park’s designers included a debris liner underneath the lounge to catch your belongings!

Greenery is everywhere at Spruce Street Harbor Park: there are planters designed to look like wooden cargo boxes overflowing with flowers, more than thirty trees, many of which were reused from the Waterfront’s Winterfest, and a spacious water garden featuring seven landscaped floating islands that  purify the water and look great doing it.

The DRWC, working their design partners, transformed three 30 by 80 foot barges, donated by the family owned company Hays Tug and Launch, into the floating portion of the park. The majority of construction occurred over three weeks at a site near the Commodore Barry Bridge and the barges were then brought north on the Delaware River to in Penn’s Landing Marina using a tug boat.

Be sure to head to Spruce Street Harbor Park before the summer ends – come August 31st, the park’s time on the river will come to an end!

Read more about Spruce Street Harbor Park here: http://www.delawareriverwaterfront.com/places/spruce-street-harbor-park/attractions