Ceremony kicks off Dilworth Plaza upgrade in Phila.

Monday, January 30, 2012
Dilworth Plaza renovation kickoff ceremony Dilworth Plaza renovation kickoff ceremony

They held a groundbreaking ceremony in a conference room nine stories up on Monday.

It was the official ceremony kicking off the $50 million renovation of Dilworth Plaza, set for completion in the spring of 2014.

It is expected to become an active public plaza for residents, employees and tourists, and with SEPTA, a mass transit hub down below. Much of the funding is coming from the Obama Administration.

RELATED: Two arrests in Occupy Philly protest on eve of Dilworth Plaza groundbreaking

"Other communites, everbody has their own agenda. Not here. There's one agenda: What's good for the people? How do you get friends and neighbors back to work?" said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The project will create over 900 construction jobs. When completed, the new plaza will have a large lawn, tree groves, seating for hundreds, a flowing new fountain, and in winter time, a portable ice rink. And downstairs, it's a complete renovation of this major hub for the Broad and Market subways.

"All of us who have used SEPTA's station know that it could use a little work. And it's going to get that work from many of my constituents in Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County who commute every day into Center City," said Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pennsylvania).

"What is most exciting for me is that more than 900 workers are going to occupy Dilworth Plaza very, very soon," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

The mayor was making reference to the fact that Occupy Philadelphia took up residence in tents on Dilworth Plaza for several months.

The renovation project is expected to be completed on budget and on time in the spring of 2014.

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