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As Makeover Begins, Philadelphia Shows Off Vision For New Dilworth Plaza

By Michelle Durham and Anne-Marie Green

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Construction fencing is up around Dilworth Plaza, on the west side of City Hall.

A $50-million project has begun, and Center City District officials say it will completely transform the plaza above and below ground.

This project has been a long time in the making.  Planning started in 2006, and the Dilworth Plaza we know now will become a thing of the past.

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dilworth plaza new rendering lawn DL
(Clear glass pyramidal entrances to underground transit, far left, and a huge section of lawn are among the features of the new Dilworth Plaza. Artist's rendering provided)



Paul Levy, president of the Center City District, says he wants this site to not only link the Avenue of the Arts  (Broad Street) to the shopping and commerce (east, Market Street) side of City Hall, but he wants Dilworth Plaza to become a place people gather to have fun.

"You will look out over the fountain, which will be a flat sheet of water, but it will also have playful jets that kids can have a good time in," Levy explains, "and all fed with recycled rainwater.  We can easily put up a stage and chairs -- a thousand people can sit there and see concerts. We will program farmers' markets outside (in summer) and winter ice skating."

There will also be a café (below) and large artworks.

dilworth plaza new rendering cafe DL
(The café will be at the north end of Dilworth Plaza, across the street from the Municipal Services Building.)

Underground, there are three levels of transit underneath Dilworth Plaza.  All of those dark concourses underneath City Hall, used by tens of thousands of people to hop on and off the Broad Street or Market-Frankford lines or the subway-surface trolleys, will be completely redone.

There will even be a media wall that will give you the scores as you get ready to see your favorite team.

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