In October, the Community Design Collaborative presented its 2015 Community Design Award to Nicetown Sports Court. This annual award recognizes one Design Grant for excellence in design, collaboration, and community impact and is presented at AIA Philadelphia’s Excellence in Design Awards.
Nicetown Community Development Corporation (Nicetown CDC) has been steadily revitalizing Germantown Avenue, the neighborhood’s commercial corridor, for more than a decade. But the street skips a beat where the Roosevelt Expressway passes over Germantown Avenue.
Nicetown CDC wants to transform the three-acre strip of empty land beneath the Roosevelt Expressway into a new neighborhood nexus for physical activity. This year, it worked with a team of Collaborative volunteers on a conceptual master plan for Nicetown Sports Court.
Architect Tony Bracali, a member of the team, was the catalyst and designer behind the Franklin Paine’s Skate Park. He says that the Nicetown site reminded him of the skate park site. “It’s a fractured site with lots of jagged edges… It requires you to embrace a different way of thinking” where the most active uses lend a unique energy to areas for sitting or walking.
The Collaborative's conceptual plan interweaves walking paths, basketball courts, a soccer field, a skate park, rain gardens, a public green, and a plaza for food trucks and seasonal farm stands. It also shows how the sports court can manage stormwater and extend the existing but partially hidden Nicetown Park to the main thoroughfare.
Congratulations to Nicetown CDC and our volunteer team: Friday Architects/Planners Inc., Ruggiero Plante Land Design, International Consultants, Inc. | Anthony Bracali, AIA; Anna Diskin; Kyle Dowdy; Michael Funk; Cesira Ruggiero, ASLA; Ryan Tighe; and Michael Williams.