Meet “The Oval,” Philly’s Newest Urban Park

“We want Ben Franklin Parkway to be a neighborhood park for all Philadelphians that is wonderfully designed, connected to the community, offers a wide array of activities and amenities, and features park spaces that people can easily access.” - Mayor Michael Nutter  

Rendering of new park at Eakins OvalPhilly Parks & Rec has partnered with the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the William Penn Foundation to redesign and repurpose Eakin’s Oval. Located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway -- Philadelphia’s “Avenue des Champs-Élysées -- Eakins Oval will be transformed from a surface parking lot into “The Oval,” a hip urban oasis full of activities for people of all ages to enjoy.

Eakins Oval currently serves as an overlooked space linking some of Philadelphia’s biggest tourist attractions including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rocky statue, The Barnes Foundation and Rodin Museum. The space welcomes some of Philadelphia’s most iconic events including Welcome America’s July 4th Festival, Made In America, along with a variety of charity runs and walks. Over 70,000 Philadelphians live within a ten-minute walk of Eakins Oval. Transforming this  space into “The Oval” will connect and unify the area’s attractions and surrounding neighborhoods by giving people the opportunity to stay, eat, and interact with a vibrant, eight-acre open air park.

The new park will offer an array of summer events from July 17, 2013 through August 18, 2013. Programming will include live musical performances, interactive arts and culture activities, fitness and wellness activities, movie nights, pop-up beer gardens, miniature golf, mobile farming and much more. To learn more about The Oval’s new design and full event schedule, visit Philly Parks and Rec’s Website.

Andrew Schlesinger is a passionate environmental thinker and designer. He can be reached at