More about how we spent an afternoon on Friday, November 25, in Center City Philadelphia. When I left off in the previous post, my husband and I were walking east on Chestnut Street. Where were we going?
Our destination was Dilworth Park, where City Hall is located. Named for a former mayor, the park is one of the five original ones put into the street grid when the city was laid out by William Penn. It was appropriated for the location of City Hall, a massive building constructed from 1871 to 1901. The structure is as solid and imposing as a mountain and is a city landmark, although many city office are now located in more modern buildings nearby.
Dilworth Park was recently remodeled and is now used very often for city events and festivals. Right now it is hosting the Wintergarden and the Capital Garden Maze, and that is one of the sites I wanted to visit in the city.
The Maze is an installation of plants, topiary, and twinkly lights and will stay in place all winter. It’s a project of Greater Philadelphia Gardens, a consortium of 30 regional gardens.
We spotted the event from across the street. The white tents are those of a craft fair also taking place on the plaza.
Here is the entrance.
We saw people sitting in café areas – the weather was gloomy but mild enough to sip a hot drink and talk to a friend. And the birds like the leftovers the people drop…
Then we came to the Maze. It was filled with people exploring it.
There are some fantastic topiary animals.
I was intrigued by the metal markers scattered in the beds. Each names a garden in the consortium as well as its mileage and direction from this location. I think this is a nod to the fact that this park is the center square of Penn’s plan, and is as such the very center of the city, from which distances are measured.
The plants in the boxes are ones that grow well locally and will have something to show of themselves all winter.
City Hall is a giant hollow square – and right now the courtyard is filled with another craft festival. We took a quick look inside. And, I took a picture of the tower. This is the landmark local people think of when they picture downtown Philadelphia; the historic area is a mile to the east, away from the main business and shopping area, and not the place residents go to as often as Center City.
All right – more later!