PHILADELPHIA – North Philadelphia residents joined Mayor Jim Kenney to celebrate improvements at Butler Triangle today, October 2.
Community members gathered at Butler Triangle – also known as “Fish Park” – to paint fence posts around the park to complement landscaping improvements made over the summer. At tables around the park residents could receive the COVID vaccine, get a PHL City ID, or receive information about City and SEPTA programs.
“The Broad, Germantown and Erie intersection is a public transportation hub and shopping district, with remarkable architecture, rich history, and a strong community,” said Mayor Kenney. “This intersection is a priority of our Administration. I am excited that the City is finally making the much needed and long overdue investments, and I thank the community members, businesses and city employees who are participating today.”
The City, community organizations, local businesses, and residents began meeting in 2017 to identify improvements to the area. The project’s goals are to make the intersection safer, to create new public spaces, to create jobs and support businesses, and to honor local history.
Over the summer contractors made landscaping improvements to Butler Triangle. They leveled the ground, planted new grass and flowering trees and plants, installed new tables and chairs, and added activities for children.
“As someone who grew up around the corner from Broad and Butler, and as a stakeholder supporting vitalization along North Broad Street, it’s wonderful to be a part of this joint effort to improve the quality of life in this section of the city,” said Shalimar Thomas, executive director of North Broad Renaissance. Thomas participated in the Community Build Day.
In 2020 project stakeholders also identified potential improvements to the triangle at Erie Avenue and safety improvements around the intersection. Residents offered feedback through surveys taken in person at the intersection and online.
The next phase of improvements will include an elevator for SEPTA’s Erie Avenue station on the Broad Street line; removal of trolley tracks and installation of bus lanes on Erie Avenue; and landscaping and public amenity improvements at the Erie Avenue Triangle.
“Mayor Kenney told us he envisioned the Broad, Germantown & Erie commercial corridor as the ‘Times Square of Philadelphia’ and promised to help us revitalize this community,” said Amelia Price, corridor manager for Called to Serve CDC. “Fish Park is no longer an eyesore. It is a ray of hope; a daily reminder to stop, relax and enjoy the beautiful flowers. Out of the ashes a phoenix is rising. I have no doubt, the BEST is yet to come.”
In addition to public space improvements, private businesses are upgrading their properties. Since 2019 five stores have installed new awnings, ten stores are pursuing new storefronts, and four stores have begun interior renovations. The City has supported some of these improvements with funding.
Other public investments include the Nicetown -Tioga branch of the Free Library at Philadelphia. It will receive improvements through the City’s Rebuild program.
Photos from BGE Community Build Day are available here.