29 July 08: Reconsidering Pi

Regarding this comment from the inaugural Summer of the Delaware post last month . . .
If I were to have one single request to add to the immediate action plan, it would be for the demolition of Penn's Landing Pi to coincide with any ribbon cutting for a riverfront trail. Harris: Call me, I have a sledgehammer.
. . . Jason from South Street submitted:
Any thoughts on an adaptive reuse of the Pi, something akin to the waterfalls in Governors Island or open it to discussion for transformation in to public art?
(For info on artist Olafur Elliasson's The New York City Waterfalls, a four-part installation involving scaffolding and reused water from the East River, see the official web site HERE, a New York Times slideshow HERE, or Curbed.com's take HERE.)

Jason's idea is a good one. While my offer to Penn Praxis still stands, I don't exactly see the Penn's Landing Pi coming down quickly or silently. The Great Lawn is a few years off, so let's have some fun with this.

The Penn's Landing Pi is the ultimate symbol of failure. It stands over an enormous parking lot in arguably the most prime riverfront real estate in the city. It was built as the support to the dumbest idea that's come out of riverfront brainstorming: an expensive aerial tram to Camden when there are already at least five viable existing alternatives. And, in throwing up its hands and saying, "well, we have to do something with it!," Penn's Landing Corporation had a giant "welcome" banner fitted for it.

(Not entirely unrelatedly, Mayor Nutter put out a call today for applicants to the brand new board of directors to the brand new Delaware Waterfront Corporation.)

Anyway, before either of these things -- the Great Lawn and a restructured Delaware Waterfront Corporation -- happens, let's look at Pi. It's about 60 feet tall and made of solid concrete. It stands over an enormous parking lot, and is about 20 feet from the Delaware River itself. What should be done with it? Hire it out to El Toro and Bob Will Reign? Cover it in LEDs reading "3.14159 . . ."? Giant outdoor rock climbing wall? Totally rip off NYC's waterfall idea?

What do you think? Let's hear your thoughts on how to best handle Pi. The best suggestions will be the subject of a new Pi post in a week or so. To submit your idea, use the form HERE, or simply email blove AT phillyskyline DOT com with "Penn's Landing Pi" in the subject.

Here are a few more Philly Skyline Pi Skylines for inspiration -- feel free to use them if you're handy with the photoshoppin'.

–B Love


• 25 July 08: Happy trail
• 18 July 08: Seeking the source
• 14 July 08: All this is mine
• 27 June 08: Welcome to the Summer of the Delaware