100,000 square feet of beautiful, finely carved and crafted granite masonry was
used throughout the park’s exterior, including paving, walls and benches. In
particular, the Mesabi Black®
granite provided an ideal background to the almost bluish tones of City Hall’s granite,
limestone and marble exterior. The Mesabi Black® fountain area reflects the beauty of City Hall when the waters
are inactive. When active, the fountain draws children
from across Philadelphia to splash in its waters.
2-inch-thick pavers in the plaza area have varying lengths and widths, with the
most common paver measuring 3 feet long by 1.5 feet wide. The majority of pavers
feature a Diamond® 10
and a Diamond 300 finish for pavers around the benches. According to the design
team, the slightly roughened Diamond 300 texture surrounding the benches is a
design element indicating to pedestrians they’re approaching a bench.
The 14 large,
curvilinear benches along the plaza area are constructed of granite veneer and
capstones of solid granite in Diamond 8 finish. In total, 6,500 square feet of
Woodbury granite was used for the benches. According to the design team, the benches
and their smooth, curvilinear forms are designed to respond to the changes in
grade upon entering the plaza. As park visitors travel up and down the plaza, the
benches curve and hold a grade in a way that calls to mind a giant a balustrade
on a stair. The benches’ beautiful curved forms change constantly in radius in
both height and width – a modern version of stonework from generations past. Benches
and capstones were installed with cranes, due to their large size.
Photo credit to ©OLIN / Sahar Coston-Hardy