Just off Columbus Avenue, the beach was rendered stroller-friendly after workers cleared out the woods that limited its accessibility. It's one of many barely known river-access points along a 6-mile stretch from around Tasker Avenue up to Penn Treaty Park that the city is developing, thanks to grants from the William Penn Foundation.
Work on green spaces along the river and trails connecting them began in 2010 after an initial $5 million from the foundation that rallied $14 million more in funding from charitable and government organizations. The foundation yesterday added another $5 million to the project.
Mayor Nutter said development of the Race Street Pier enticed Philly Fringe Arts to begin work on a 200-seat theater across the street.
"Building high-quality public infrastructure signals to the private-sector builders and developers that the waterfront is a place in which they'll want to invest," he said.
The latest $5 million is earmarked to rehab Pier 68 south of Tasker Avenue for bass fishing, and to construct high-quality trails along remaining gaps in the development zone over the next two years. The initial grant supported a fishing pier near Washington Avenue as well as improved roads to the river north of SugarHouse Casino.
In 1684, William Penn ordered construction of 12 public-access stairways "linking the communities of the city to the Delaware waterfront," said Helen Picher, president of the William Penn Foundation. "Today's needs are likely different . . . but everyone here now agrees that Philadelphians need to have access to the Delaware waterfront."