Exciting News!

Announcing new FDR Gateway designs and city funding!

by Melissa Romero on October 6, 2021

Fairmount Park Conservancy, the City of Philadelphia, elected officials, and the Friends of FDR Park today unveiled new designs for the Welcome Center and play space at FDR Park and announced significant city investment of $50 million in the FDR Park Master Plan implementation!

“Fairmount Park Conservancy has been committed to bringing more nature and more play to FDR Park since day one, and we could not be more excited to get to work to make this iconic play space and Welcome Center a reality,” says Maura McCarthy, Ph.D., Executive Director of Fairmount Park Conservancy.

Here are some of the exciting plans for FDR Park:

The Welcome Center

The Gateway Phase of the Master Plan will enhance the visitor experience at FDR Park by restoring and transforming the 5,500 square foot guardhouse at the Broad Street and Pattison Avenue entrance into a Welcome Center. 

The Welcome Center will include: 

  • An open-air courtyard to serve as a community gathering space
  • A staffed information center where visitors will be able to find out about upcoming events, rent equipment to use in the park, and sign up for park permits
  • Food and beverage vendors
  • Restrooms
  • A co-working space for park staff and community partners

The Welcome Center will also transform the existing stables into a 4,000-square-foot cafe and 6,700-square-foot event space overlooking Pattison Lagoon. This project will also include making repairs to the riparian edge of the lagoon, allowing visitors to enjoy water views.


Pattison Playground

Next to the Welcome Center will be a world-class destination play space that encourages nature play for all ages and abilities. Throughout the year-long master planning process, the project planners heard from the community that they wanted to see more nature and more play at FDR Park. In addition, throughout summer 2021, children and caregivers shared via workshops and online engagement that they wanted to see a variety of play spaces and features that encourage children to climb, swing, and explore. 

Pattison Playground will include:

  • A mega-swing set with 30 swings, designed for all ages overlooking the Pattison Lagoon
  • Nature-based play equipment including spinners, log and boulder scrambles, and treehouses 
  • Rolling hills with slides
  • Barrier-free adventure paths 
  • A picnic area with pavilions 
  • Seat walls located under shady groves overlooking the play area 
  • New landscaping featuring beautiful native and pollinator-friendly plantings

We want to know what you think! Please take this short survey and tell us what programs and events you want to see in these spaces. One lucky participant will win an FDR T-Shirt!