Friday, December 20, 2013

Rittenhouse Square

Rittenhouse Row Website

Rittenhouse Square is a part of the original five open green spaces that were designed by William Penn during the 17th century. The park is located between 18th and 19th along Walnut Street. Since the 18th century, it was highly ranked and surrounded by those within a higher economic class. High-rise buildings, popular restaurants, residential mansions, two hotels, and luxury apartment complexes now surround the park.  Today, Rittenhouse Square is one of the more predominant parks within the heart of center city Philadelphia. 

If you’re a nature-buff...

  • According to Philadelphian design firm Maskar Design, the park includes sycamore, chestnut, maple, oak, elm, magnolia, locust, catalpa, basswood, ginko, ash, and hawthorn trees. You can see their reinterpretation of the park’s tree here
  • The square includes a lot of benches that line up with the pathways. Besides the hustle and bustle surrounding the location, you can almost believe that you’re not even in a city. 
  • You are also able to lay down with a blanket because of the large areas of grass within the park. 

If you’re into art...

  • The park has six sculptures that range from 1830 to 1988.  The two main sculptures are in the center of the park. They include the 1830 Lion Crushing a Serpent and the 1911 Duck Girl, who is standing within a fountain pool. The other three small sculptures are two small children surrounding a sunflower-shaped sundial, a giant granite frog, a bronzed billy goat, and two small stone dogs. 
  • The location is used to hold cultural and art events. Some popular events include:
o   Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show: The country’s longest running outdoor art exhibit that showcases local artists
o   And even a small tree lighting event in December!

If you love to eat...

  • The park is known for being surrounded by high profile restaurants that include:
o   Parc
o   Rouge

  If you enjoy people-watching... 

  • Because the park is within an urban neighborhood, people-watching is highly recommended. The people range from businessperson, to college student, to families and children, to tourists, and anything in between.  

If you’re active… 

  • You can come here to do your daily workout (I have seen people at 6 am come to park to do their workout rituals). However, I do not recommend it. The park is still an urban place, so there is not much room to run around. It’s not a very large place, so the chances of you running into someone is likely (especially around the peak hours). People do run through the park on their daily jogs or come to throw a frisbee, but people who are attempting to relax from the chaotic center city mostly use the park.
  • Many locals come to the park to walk their dogs through the paths within the green space. I brought my dog for the walk! 

You can follow the Friends of Rittenhouse Square twitter for upcoming events!

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