Strawberry Mansion Reimagines Mander

Organization and community: Fairmount Park Conservancy (Philadelphia, PA)

Fairmount Park Conservancy, in partnership with the Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corporation, is working with the Strawberry Mansion community on a comprehensive design and engagement process for East Fairmount Park’s Mander Playground and Recreation Center. The process will lead to a comprehensive, phased vision plan for future improvements at Mander Playground and the 22-acre campus of East Fairmount Park that surrounds it.

Located at the intersection of 33rd and Diamond Streets, Mander Playground is the living, breathing epicenter of the North Philadelphia neighborhood of Strawberry Mansion. As the most used and treasured public space in the neighborhood, the playground serves a hybrid of functions: a place to gather, a place to play, a place to celebrate, and a crossing place.

In the fall of 2018, residents of Strawberry Mansion participated in a master planning process that reimagined Mander Playground, originally constructed in 1961, to better fit the community’s needs. Conceptualized by design team Studio Zewde, DIGSAU, and Amber Art & Design the plan will:

  • Produce a new conceptual design and shared vision for Mander Playground, including a Strawberry Mansion neighborhood gateway;
  • Outline recommended physical improvements to support park-goers and park programs, increase navigability through wayfinding, and expand restroom capacity at Mander;
  • Incorporate existing conceptual designs which proposed connections to Randolph Creek in East Fairmount Park and a pedestrian crossing at Kelly Drive; and
  • Build on existing investments and position Mander for future investments.