Norris Square Park
Marvel's work at Norris Square Park builds upon the city’s rich history of public parks—creating an updated space for the community to congregate, while thoughfully weaving in historic touches that speak to the neighborhood's history. Featuring eight radial walkways converging in the park’s center, Norris Square Park serves a variety of communities and needs, with public gathering space, open grass and courts for sports and recreation, and safe playgrounds for children. In addition, a numerous organizations utilize the space to host workshops, weekly farm stands, movie nights, and theatrical performances within the park. The first phase, completed in 2022, features redesigned playgrounds and an updated baseketball court, allowing for greater . A second phase will modernize the entry portals, add in secondary pathways, and modernize the central of the park, establishing a multipurpose gathering space for the community.
Secondary pathways were developed to facilitate efficient travel across Norris Square Park, and were inspired by some of the park's original designs.
The community engagement process helped provide insight into the community's needs, and was incorporated into the design process. One example of this is the basketball court, which was expanded to a full court from its previous half court layout.
Connecting with the community across multiple touchpoints, including in-person forums, online and printed surveys, allowed for the team to capture a wide range of viewpoints and demographics to analyze.
Two new playgrounds were designed to accommodate different age groups and allow for different styles of play.
The playgrounds were inspired by the Puerto Rican rainforest and feature Taíno symbols as a nod to the Puerto Rican immigrants who call North Philadelphia home, and the indigenous people of the Caribbean.
New entry portals will offer places to sit and gather on the perimeter of the park, allowing residents at the nearby senior center a nearby place to gather.
An elm tree painted with a Puerto Rican flag has become an iconic spot in the park, showcasing a key segment of the community's cultural background.