Columbus Square renovation project delayed

It didn’t come as a surprise, but they weren’t exactly planning for it either. Renovations for Columbus Square Park have been delayed due do a state funding rule that requires the city to hire an archaeologist to make sure the site isn’t – you know, hiding anything of historical significance.

Columbus Square renovation project in South Philadelphia delayed
“The city has dealt with this before. It’s not unusual with these type of projects,” says Ilene Wilder, President of the Columbus Square Advisory Council. “We’re working with the city and just waiting for the archaeology report now.”

Columbus Square Park is hoping to break ground in fall 2017 or spring 2018. In the meantime they will continue to push forward with several fundraisers including a flea market on April 22nd.

The next Columbus Square Advisory Council Meeting will be on April 20 at 7pm at the Columbus Square Rec Center.

23 thoughts on “Columbus Square renovation project delayed

  • April 10, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Poor ms wilder isn’t going to get ‘HER’ park this year. boo hoo! Anyone notice that she removed one of the baseball diamonds across from her house because she didn’t want the noise across from her home. Yup for the community.

  • April 10, 2017 at 11:57 am

    You don’t want the park to renovated?

    Didn’t they do a lot of polling to see what people want?

    • April 11, 2017 at 7:55 am

      Yes, they did. And one diamond was removed because the COMMUNITY wanted more park space and less field. It was a reasonable outcome. Many people in the community were a part of this, and I am also looking forward to the park being redone. Right now, we have a muddy field surrounded by fences and broken benches…

      Regarding the article, I’m not sure why we need to bring in archaeologists to prepare for a park when a park is already there.

      • April 11, 2017 at 10:11 am

        If you are digging, and the state awarded a grant, then you need it. Thems the rules.

        Also, it is long overdue. I highly doubt anyone hired an archaeologist when converting the prison parade grounds to a park.

        • April 11, 2017 at 1:17 pm

          Thanks Parking Police. I didn’t know the history, but that makes sense.

          • April 11, 2017 at 2:38 pm

            To possibly further pique your interest, prior to it being part of the prison, the land was farmland, with a stream that ran from center city down into South Philly by what is now 13th Street

  • April 10, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I was wondering what happened to the renovation project. Does anyone know if they will have to shut it down completely during the renovation–whenever it occurs? Or will they be able to work in sections?

  • April 11, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Hey Park Patrol,

    Say what you will, but Ilene Wilder worked harder than most people I know-including you-to bring about a massive, positive change. I can’t believe your snarkiness-“her” park will be used and enjoyed by many….Try being positive Its a great change of pace!

    • April 11, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      I’ve lived a couple of blocks from the park for about 10 years now. I have been to many a meeting at the park. Yes, she has worked hard I will give her that. Me and my kids appreciate her efforts. However, if you knew her then you would know how much of a back stabber and conniving individual she is, if you don’t follow her script you will be shunned and lied to. Don’t forget she lives directly across from the park, she has flipped houses in the neighborhood, and she sells real estate there as well. it’s about money and ego first and foremost and the community comes 3rd or 4th on her list. Ask anyone along 13th st. who knows her well. the process to get to where we are now was filled with back door deals and lies to get what she and her cronies wanted. Let’s not forget what the price of her house will be after all this. It’s about the money.
      Lastly, there was a time when the bench area across from her house was infiltrated with heroin dealers and homeless people. I couldn’t even walk my kids by there for over a year. She used that situation to her advantage so she could go cry for money for the renovations! there are two sides to every fence just remember that. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did good things as well doesn’t mean they were not pricks!

      • April 12, 2017 at 1:36 pm

        this made me laugh…

        “there was a time when the bench area across from her house was infiltrated with heroin dealers and homeless people. I couldn’t even walk my kids by there for over a year. She used that situation to her advantage so she could go cry for money for the renovations”

        She saw a problem… a problem so bad you wouldn’t even walk down the block… got money and resources to fix the problem, and thats a bad thing?

        Am I missing something? And you say this was across from her house? Wouldn’t she want that fixed?

        MANY people are selfish and do things for money. If those things help an entire community, I think I can live with that.

        • April 15, 2017 at 11:07 pm

          As for the Heroin users and hookers, they were in the park long before we moved to Philly 14 years ago. Did you or anyone do anything about it? I know when I saw dealers in the park I called the police, we even contacted the D.A. who eventually got rid of all the crackheads and dealers. If anyone had kids and saw all this dealing going on, didn’t get involved, and do something about it, they should be ashamed of themselves.Sorry for trying to make the neighborhood safe for everyone. Hey Park Patrol, why don’t you grow a pair and tell everyone your name so we can all know what an A-Hole you are.

      • April 15, 2017 at 10:51 pm

        Park patrol: If you knew my wife, then you would know she started working on the park project years before she got into real estate. You would also know she always put the community before her own needs, volunteering hundreds of man hours only to get crap from assholes like you. Why don’t get your facts straight before you open that crap hole you call a mouth. But facts don’t matter to jerkoffs like you. You’re just another one of the passive aggressive jerks from the neighborhood who won’t tell anyone their name, but will bitch and moan because someone actually did something for the good of the neighborhood.

      • April 17, 2017 at 9:17 am

        Park Patrol,

        A year ago when the homeless were there? She had already banked $1.5ml for the park renovation by then, so I doubt that was her motivation. I will tell you that by going to the monthly PSSA meeting at Methodist Hospital and meeting with the local Police lieutenant and showing some concern resulted in that being cleaned up very quickly.
        So what if her house goes up in value? A rising tide lifts all boats, so if you live near the park you are probably going to see your values rise. But wait a minute-you didn’t do any work work on getting the funding for the park…should we complain about your ill-gotten gains?
        I am sure Ilene Wilder would love to see her compared to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, but really? Do you think she is that big? evil? Get a reality check please….

      • April 17, 2017 at 1:10 pm

        Park Patrol:
        I cannot help but find it ironic that you are calling Ilene a back stabber, when in essence that is exactly what you are doing to her. Ilene and I have one rule that we both live by. We never say anything about someone in public, unless we first say it to his or her face. There is one exception to this rule, and it applies to cowards like you, who are quick to criticize someone under the protection of anonymity. I am so grateful not to have people like you in my everyday life. Have a good life, Bitter Balls.

  • April 11, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Has anyone done any research on the health implications of placing a dog park so close to areas that kids play in. My understanding of the neighborhood is that the core advisory board consists of many folks that are “dog friendly” and pushed their agenda. It’s seems odd to reduce play space and increase space for dogs. The kids in South Philadelphia have only a few safe places to play. If you go to this park on any nice day it is overcrowded and needs more space not less.

    Secondly, it is disgusting to me the thoughts of dog feces and urine being so close to areas children play in and the entrance to the park. In the current set up on warm days you can smell dog feces and urine from the sidewalk and there isn’t much maintenance of the park. I would hate to see a city gem like Columbus overtaken by the new crop of dog obsessed urbanites. Why not place the dog park on the opposite side towards 13th street and away from young hands and lungs.

    There must be a better solution.

    • April 11, 2017 at 9:43 am

      I haven’t thought of that, but I agree. I don’t understand why so many people want big dogs in such a dense, urban neighborhood. People standing outside in the terrible heat or cold, watching their dog run around in gravel every morning and evening; but I suppose that’s another discussion.

    • April 11, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      Philly Dude,

      I do like your perspective, but for some of us, our dogs are our children.
      I will tell you what is disgusting-the number of dirty diapers that people leave in the child park. At least most of the dog owners clean up after their dogs. And dispose of them in the bins.
      Why should dogs and their owners NOT get a seat at the table and have some input in the planning process? We have been getting along just fine before this article was written….

      • April 11, 2017 at 2:25 pm

        Concerned Citizen,

        I in 10 years have never seen a dirty diaper in the park. Also, my two children have never urinated or defecated to date on anyone else grass, tree pit, sidewalk or public park space. I can appreciate that your dogs are your children, (even if it makes no sense to me personally) If that is the case though, maybe potty training.

        Also, it is total rubbish that “most” dog owners clean up after their pets. I would love to see a public survey of people that agree with that premise. Again, sample size over 10 years says dog owners think everyone else is in to their dogs. Simply put, we are not.

        Enjoy the weather, and remember everyone KINDLY CURB YOUR DOG, feces carries disease, even from your children, I mean dog.

    • April 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Seeing as people sit in there with their dogs everyday, I think your kids will be OK.

      Anthony confirmed there were meetings with the community. Were you able to attend? Perhaps you could have pushed your “kid friendly” agenda?

    • April 17, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Philly Dude:

      It sounds like you are new to the neighborhood. Story Boards for the new park plans are located in the Recreation center. I understand your concern for the children’s health and the proximity of the two new dog parks, one for large breed dogs and one for smaller breeds. You might also be interested in knowing that the city did studies over a one and a half year period to find the appropriated materials just for the Dog Parks, such as the best type of ground cover that will minimize and combat the smell of urine and that can be hosed down with water. The gravel in the current Dog Park will be gone, and replaced with a product that resembles grass. As you may have guessed by now, projects like the new park take years of planning.

      In addition, SPADO and other dog owners are generally responsible people who pick up after their four legged friends, as they do not like walking through dog feces themselves. While I do not have any dogs myself, many of my friends do and they always pick up after their family members. Yes most pet owners considers their little friends as family. If you have any other question or concerns about the park. you can contact the Department of Parks and Recreation, not the one on TV.

  • April 11, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Wow! The comments on the “new” Passyunk Post are starting to look like the comments on I’m glad I stuck around even after the moderator deleted some of my comments (which never happened before).

    Time to get some popcorn!

    • April 20, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      I was just thinking the same thing! I had assumed this site was dead when there were no new posts for over a month, then checked back on a whim to find all this drama! I’m waiting for an all-out “lifers vs. hipsters” rumble.

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