Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Leave It Better: Sit a Spell

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Leave It Better: Sit a Spell

Article excerpt

A Philadelphia artist dots a local trail with decorative stoops.


Stoops on the Manayunk Canal

Towpath, Philadelphia.


The Manayunk Canal Towpath in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park was undergoing some land reclamation to buffer the path from wildlife habitats and to prevent erosion. The Fairmount Park Art Association commissioned a series of nine mosaic stoops to artist Diane Pieri to represent the "front steps" of neighborhoods along the path and to serve as seating areas for any of the 500,000 walkers, runners, and bikers who use the trail each year.

Timeline and Construction:

Pieri and artist Vicki Scuri walked the trail in 2000 for inspiration for the project. Pieri also held workshops in which children were able to share their experiences in the neighborhood. Based on her findings, Pieri painted her idea for each mosaic surface and headed to Spilembergo, Italy, to the Travisanutto mosaic workshop for the physical creation of the stoop panels. The pieces were fabricated over a period of six months and once shipped to the site, a local concrete company finished up where the mosaic professionals left off. …

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