Today the City released “Framing the Future of the Roundhouse.” Last year we spent six months asking people what kind of future they envisioned for the former police headquarters. This report summarizes what we learned.
The report is available in English, Spanish and simplified Chinese.
The Roundhouse is the former headquarters of the Philadelphia Police Department. In 2022, the police moved to a new headquarters at 440 North Broad Street. The City will decide what to do with the empty building at 7th and Race Streets. To help make a well-informed decision, we decided to ask Philadelphians what they thought.
Two community engagement specialists led the process: Connect the Dots and Amber Art and Design. They used meaningful placemaking to connect people’s stories to the redevelopment process. They collected information in many ways. They used art, performances and surveys. They hosted focus groups and conducted one-on-one interviews. They attended community events and gathered people at the building itself. The team used online tools, too, to reach people who could not attend in-person events. 
We learned that people want the site to embrace the community in the future. Most people agreed that the wall surrounding the building makes the site feel cut off from the neighborhood.
“I’ve learned so much about this building’s history and meaning to the community,” said Ian Litwin, City Planner and project manager for this public engagement.
Now, this engagement process can help shape the building’s future. Next, the Philadelphia Historical Commission will review the building and PIDC will issue a request for proposals.
A resources page for the Framing the Future of the Roundhouse report. The report is available in English, Spanish and simplified Chinese.