Harsana Siva
University of Pennsylvania
United States of America

Project idea

The 52nd Street corridor in West Philadelphia is often known for its vibrant history. The street displays a wide range of cultures through art and architecture. The corridor is also famously known for its yearly Juneteenth parade. The parade is one of the oldest nationally celebrated commemorations of the ending of slavery in the United States. Changing shopping habits and disinvestment led to a slow decline in the 1980s and 1990s, trends exacerbated by the years-long refurbishment of the 52nd street Market- Frankford Line (MFL) subway stop disrupted traffic and drove away businesses. It is a corridor that has witnessed plentiful historical chapters and needs to be preserved to educate the coming generations of the shared emotions and cultures.

Project description

Evocation aims to create a contemporary and diverse space that can be used by the residents of the area to share and connect. The proposed market/travel hub aims to create a smooth transition between existing traditional conditions and contemporary changes through deconstruction and collaging of different urban elements within the 52nd Street corridor.

The market hopes to provide a better experience for the neighborhood. This is achieved by relocating the elevated subway and replacing it with an outdoor market/elevated park. The intervention of the market would also serve the community’s need for growing fresh produce. It would also include a travel hub, a community kitchen, and a local exchange program. The local exchange program is tailored for the community and would be a place for them to share and exchange belongings, acting as a method to preserve within the community. Evocation hence aims to encapsulate, share, and create new memories.

Technical information

Evocation provides about 35000 sq. ft of coverage. The structure itself is intended to be built using traditional materials like brick and glass. The structure will also require an additional material supply for the relocation of the existing rail line.

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