Signature Projects

The Tacony CDC has promoted, supported, and participated in the planning process of several initiatives that positively impact the neighborhood. These projects, and others sure to follow, continue to improve the economic vitality, environmental health, and quality of life in Tacony.

Tacony Library & Arts Building (LAB) - 6918 Torresdale Avenue

Tacony LAB art display

The Tacony LAB is a joint project of the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Mural Arts Program. Made possible by Councilman Bobby Henon’s support and fundraising efforts, the LAB will serve as studio space for two artists in residence and as a temporary library annex while the Tacony Library undergoes a two-year renovation (learn more about the planned improvements).

The LAB space will allow residents continued access to computers, wireless internet, circulation materials, and a place to study during the neighborhood branc’s closure. At the same time, it will provide a space for the artists to collaborate with community members in their design and implementation of public art works. It is the City’s first attempt to provide continued library services in a neighborhood facing the temporary closure of their local branch. It will also infuse the neighborhood with more artwork than it has ever seen, including the resident artists’ first two projects: the city’s first fresco mural and a parklet on Torresdale Avenue, intended to serve as the LAB’s outdoor living room.

The Tacony CDC provided support for the renovation of the double storefront’s renovation. Improvements made to the building include a new awning, large picture windows, and attractive security grates. We are also partnering with the Tacony branch’s staff to establish a business resource center in the newly renovated location -- stay tuned for more details!

Although the Tacony branch should re-open in the spring of 2018, the LAB is projected to keep its doors open for at least three years. Stay up to date on events, programs, and opportunities for collaborating with the artists in residence by liking their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/taconyLAB.

The Tacony LAB is a partnership between the Office of Councilman Bobby Henon, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, with additional support from the Tacony CDC. The above article has been adapted by materials provided by the Mural Arts Program.

Getting To Tacony - an easy commute

21st Libraries Initiative: Free Library of Philadelphia, Tacony Branch renovation and expansion

The Tacony LAB would not be happening if not for the dramatic renovations in progress at the Tacony branch of the Free Library system. The original library, constructed in 1906 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropic fund, has undergone several renovations over the decades. This two-year project, however, will be bolder. In addition to interior and exterior renovation work, a large addition to the rear of the original building will expand the types of programming that the library can incorporate. New features will include an informal “living room” space for socializing and special activities; designated areas for children, teenagers, and even toddlers in Pre-K; and one of the Free Library system’s first small business resource centers, for which the Tacony CDC will be a valuable partner. The Tacony branch closed for renovations in May 2016 and is scheduled to reopen in Spring of 2018.

The Tacony branch renovations are led by the Free Library of Philadelphia, with support from the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation and its donors.

Getting To Tacony - an easy commute

MaST Community Charter School, Tacony Campus

Tacony CDC, along with the Civic Association, has advocated for the proposed Tacony campus of the MaST Charter School. The project will convert a brownfield into a 19-acre, K-12 academic campus. It is part of a larger effort to redevelop the Disston Saw Works compound into a mixed-use compound that provides jobs, amenities, and greatly enhanced waterfront access to Tacony and its environs.

The MaST II campus will feature two academic buildings and a large sports complex that highlight the site’s industrial history (which will also be featured in the school’s curricula). Plans currently call for phased construction, with a fully operational school in place by 2023.

Getting To Tacony - an easy commute

Lardner’s Point Park

Lardner's Point Part In Tacony

Tacony CDC and its board members supported efforts to redevelop the Lardner’s Point Park site from the very beginning. Once an abandoned brownfield site, Lardner’s Point Park is now a “living shoreline" and wonderful passive recreation site along the Delaware Access. The park provides much-needed access to the waterfront, has restored fragile habitats for multiples types of wildlife, and will serve as a trailhead for the in-process Kensington & Tacony trail. The K&T Trail, when completed, will join dozens of other trail segments along the Delaware River to form Philadelphia’s portion of the East Coast Greenway.

The redevelopment of Lardner’s Point Park was led by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the Delaware River City Corporation, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation, the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Parks & Recreation, and the Fairmount Park Conservancy, among others.

Getting To Tacony - an easy commute

Philadelphia2035 North Delaware District Plan and the Magee Extension

Tacony CDC participated in the planning process for Philadelphia2035’s North Delaware Comprehensive Plan. One of the plan’s Focus Areas is the former Disston Saw Works compound, much of which is now contaminated and/or vacant. One of the major interventions proposed is the extension of Magee Avenue across State Road to the waterfront. This would increase connectivity between the neighborhood, the proposed developments at the Disston site, and the River’s trail system. The so-called Magee Extension will also involve the beautification of portions of Magee Avenue as well as the introduction of storm-water maintenance systems.

The North Delaware District Plan process was led by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC).

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