‘Overused’ square to get a little TLC

PHILADELPHIA. Philadelphia’s most popular downtown park and home to many of the city’s most affluent residents is getting closer to a makeover that some of Rittenhouse Square’s residents have wanted for some time.

Described this weekend as “overused” and in need of some “new ideas” by the president of the Friends of Rittenhouse Square in a published report, the group has hired nationally renowned park consultant Dan Biederman.

Biederman, who is most known for his transformation of a seedy 7-acre patch of grass in midtown Manhattan into now-acclaimed Bryant Park in the early 1990s, will help the Friends group raise cash for revitalizing the square. He will also look at ways to freshen up the park’s appeal.
“The park really gets overused,” Rittenhouse Friends President Wendy Rosen told KYW Newsradio this weekend.

“So we just want to be part of the revenue portion and come up with some new ideas too.”
The Friends group already raises and contributes a significant amount of cash for the park’s upkeep. Rosen said in November that the group pays about $420,000 annually.

It also raised money needed for the annual Christmas lighting of trees inside the park after the city pulled its $30,000 in annual funding, so the neighborhood has considerable fundraising clout.

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