August 22, 2018
Cherry Street Pier, a newly renovated warehouse on the Delaware River Waterfront, will open to the public this fall as a mixed-use arts space.
Beginning Friday, Oct. 12, visitors can check out the redesigned 55,000-square foot building that promises an outdoor garden, market spaces, art exhibits, studios, and food and drink vendors. The space, which once served as a municipal shipping pier, will focus on Philadelphia's creative community, offering ample room to show off creative projects and for artists to work.
The launch of Cherry Street Pier is in line with the DRWC's Master Plan for the Central Delaware. With a $5 million budget, the pier is the seventh public park built by the DRWC within that plan. The City of Philadelphia, the William Penn Foundation, The Board of Directors of City Trusts and the Delaware Avenue Fund, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation each contributed funding.
A major component of the pier is to provide low-rent studios, market and exhibition areas, and programming that can help show off the creative work being done in Philadelphia. After an open application and interview process, the DRWC selected its first cohort of 14 artists in residence, including poets, sculptors, and designers, among others. Check out full details on the group on the DRWC site.
“Public spaces have an opportunity to create deeper connections between people and their city," said Patrick Morgan, director of the Knight Foundation in Philadelphia.
“With Knight Foundation support, Cherry Street Pier will be a model site to help look at Philadelphia's public spaces in a brand new way, providing resources for creative spaces and communities that engage all citizens.”
To coincide with the opening, non-profit Philadelphia Contemporary is producing the Festival for the People from Oct. 13 through Oct. 28 The festival will include special events and art installations throughout each space of Cherry Street Pier, also using Race Street Pier to host events.
"This Pier will create a new model for public space – one where the creative community is essential to the mission of the space," DRWC President Joe Forkin said in a statement.
"At Cherry Street Pier, we seek to provide the foundation and resources for the arts to flourish on the waterfront and in Philadelphia. The pier will continue to help reconnect the city to its waterfront by creating a community space that is inclusive, educational, exciting, and collaborative."