Pi in the Sky: The aerial tram that was never built

This section of Columbus Blvd. would be capped in the new plan for Penn's Landing.Along Philadelphia's central Delaware Riverfront, where an iconic bridge connects cars, commuter trains, cyclists and pedestrians with Camden's Riverfront, there was a time when the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA)wanted to add an aerial tram. The Penn's Landing Corporation, in support of DRPA, included the tram as a requisite for a redevelopment design contest in 2003. Ten years and many millions of dollars later, that time and those ideas have passed, leaving only a massive concrete “pi,” surrounded by a sea of surface parking. In October, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, which replaced Penn's Landing Corporation in 2009 as the city's nonprofit steward of the river, unveiled the first phase of plans for a new vision of the riverfront — one that's greener and at long last reunites Center City and its riverfront. Alas, the would-be tram and its concrete pi are not in that vision. For more on this story and to follow the redevelopment of Penn's Landing, visit the Hidden City Daily, hiddencityphila.org.