The city’s main drag is getting a splash of color for this summer’s Democratic National Convention.
Beautification projects along North and South Broad streets announced Monday will give delegates and politicians visiting Philadelphia for the DNC this July a special treat, in keeping with Mayor Jim Kenney’s stated mission to “sell” Philadelphia to visitors.
South of City Hall along Broad Street on the road to the Wells Fargo Center, where the main convention events will be held July 25-28, a mile-long mural on the central median “will serve as a vibrant gateway between City Hall and South Philadelphia,” the DNC Host Committee said in a press release.
The mural, entitled 14 Movements: A Symphony in Color and Words,” was created by Tyler School of Art grad Mat Tomezsko. The mural, painted on vinyl ground covering, will stretch a total of 14 blocks. Installation began Monday and is expected to last a month. The Knight Foundation is supporting the project.
Mural Arts Program executive director Jane Golden said in a statement that the mural ”will bring bold color and energy to one of the liveliest streets in Philadelphia.”
Meanwhile, Broad Street between Race Street and JFK Boulevard will be rehabbed as well. Between City Hall and the Convention Center, 52 planters will be installed on both sides of the street. Formerly incarcerated returning citizens will work on the garden walk through the Roots to Re-Entry program.
Reyburn Plaza around the Municipal Services Building will get new greenery, streetscape improvements and turf restoration. This work is already in progress with plantings scheduled for June 23. A Pennsylvania Horticultural Society partnership will help create the project.
Lastly, a new red, white and blue lighting array will illuminate the south side of City Hall. The lighting program will include “a programmable color-changing wash of the tower with moving lights and projected gobo images,” the DNC Host Committee said in a press release. Center City District will install the project.
“Enhancing parts of North and South Broad Street will enable the Convention to have a lasting impact on the streetscape of a main corridor running through the city,” Kenney said in a statement.
Former governor Ed Rendell, chair of the Philadelphia 2016 DNC Host Committee, added, “It is very important that the Convention has a positive impact on the Philadelphia community, and these Broad Street beautification projects are some of the ways the Host Committee will achieve that goal.”