Hawthorne Park Opens

Squarely positioned on three quarters of an acre at 12th and Catherine streets, the $2 million Hawthorne Park offers neighbors about 50 new trees in nine native species – including London planes, swamp white oaks, and of course Hawthorns, and well as 4,000 square feet of plant beds and expansive 19,000 square-foot lawn.

Anchored with only two sets of orange plastic chaise lounges, the lawn is the park's most distinguished feature.  the park is lined by old a new rowhomes that replaced the former MLK Towers.  Landscape architect Brad Thornton of LRSLAstudio, the local firm behind the design, says the hybrid turf was selected for its drought-and traffic- tolerant qualities, and noted that it (and the entire park) is irrigated.  With the tolerant turf, it will still be interesting to see how the lawn holds up.  We so often see lawns turn to patchwork or barren desserts in so many of our city parks.

The parks other design elements include a double herringbone pattern of boardwalk-style brick that lends the park's generous pathways the appearance of decking, several granite wall-seats, a few tables and chairs, and numerous benches.

To fulfill the one percent of Art requirement, a stainless steel sculpture, Object for Expression, occupies pride of place at the center of the park. Intended by Philadelphia artist Warren Holzman to evoke a lectern or pulpit, the piece acknowledges the fact that Martin Luther King delivered a speech on the site in 1965.

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