As part of the FDR Park Plan, the transformation of the historic guard house and stables into FDR Park’s first-ever Welcome Center is underway with the removal of windows and a stamp of approval from the Philadelphia Historic Commission.
Fairmount Park Conservancy’s conservation team has carefully removed 80 original wood window sash and doors from the 5,500-square-foot historic property. They will be restored off-site or, if found to be in a condition beyond repair, replicated and re-installed at the future Welcome Center.
The restoration work comes on the heels of the Philadelphia Historic Commission’s recent approval of the adaptive reuse project.
The historic property dates back to circa 1919, originally serving as a guard house and horse stables for the park. In most recent years, the property served as a park offices and storage facility.
In 2023, it will reopen to the public as the park’s first-ever Welcome Center and will include:
- An open-air courtyard to serve as a public 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
- A co-working space for park staff and community partners
The Welcome Center will also transform the former horse stables into a 4,000-square-foot exhibit hall and 6,700-square-foot multi-purpose space overlooking Pattison Lagoon. The project includes restoration of the riparian edge of the lagoon, which will allow visitors to enjoy water views of the lake for the first time.
The Welcome Center Project is the latest implementation of the FDR Park Plan. An official groundbreaking will take place this spring with an estimated completion in 2023.
The Welcome Center exterior restoration is generously supported by the 1772 Foundation.