Creative Communities


Posted: Friday, March 3, 2017
Source: William Penn Foundation

PHILADELPHIA – March 3, 2017 – Today the William Penn Foundation announced a commitment of up to $15 million to support the Penn’s Landing Park project, which will cap I-95 and re-connect two key areas of the city, the historic district with the Delaware riverfront.

“This project will not only transform the waterfront but it will transform our entire city by allowing residents and visitors to reclaim the Delaware riverfront as a new public space destination,” said Shawn McCaney, Executive Director of the William Penn Foundation. “Significant progress has been made to activate the riverfront over the last several years, including new parks, trails, and programming – such as Spruce Street Harbor Park which attracts thousands of visitors each year. The redevelopment of Penn’s Landing will be the centerpiece of a long-term effort to bring people and new economic activity to the river’s edge.”

Since 2007 the Foundation has supported an effort to ensure public riverfront access guides the redevelopment of the Central Delaware Riverfront. Initial Foundation support funded a civic engagement process to create a new citizen-based vision for the Central Delaware Riverfront. That vision identified a series of key early actions including a new master plan and a series of riverfront public access improvement projects including the Race Street Pier, Washington Avenue Green, Pier 68 Recreation Park, and a new waterfront trail.

The addition of these public spaces, along with significant improvements to the water’s quality over the past several decades, have made the riverfront a desirable destination, inviting residents and visitors to enjoy the water recreationally.

“The redevelopment of Penn’s Landing represents a big and bold vision. It’s one of the most significant civic investments by the City of Philadelphia in decades and will positively impact quality of life, economic development, and civic pride.  We are pleased to join the city, state and Delaware River Waterfront Corporation in their efforts to realize this vision of creating a new, regional recreation destination,” continued McCaney. “However, there is more work to be done before we reach the finish line. We will support DRWC in its efforts to fill the remaining fundraising gap and invite other partners to join us at the table.”


William Penn Foundation

The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that increase educational opportunities for children from low-income families, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. In partnership with others, the Foundation works to advance opportunity, ensure sustainability, and enable effective solutions. Since inception, the Foundation has made nearly 10,000 grants totaling over $1.6 billion. The Foundation’s assets totaled approximately $2.3 billion as of December 31, 2016.