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Fairmount Park and the Philadelphia Museum of Art joined together to create a landscaped parking facility, rooftop sculpture garden, relocated surface parking, and a variety of other new public amenities.

Landscaped Parking Facility and Rooftop Sculpture Garden

Opened in September 2009, the underground parking facility and rooftop sculpture garden is located in a section of East Fairmount Park between the Azalea Garden and the West Entrance to the Museum.

Aerial Perspective of New Public Amenities

These amenities are part of the Museum's overall master plan to modernize and expand their facilities over the next ten years and beyond. The Museum is a vital part of the City's cultural and economic life, drawing nearly one million visitors annually from all over the world. Many of the existing amenities surrounding the Museum, however, no longer meet the needs of its growing audience. Extending opportunities for the display of sculpture in the surrounding park and increasing visitor parking capacity were critical to the Museum's future success.

The Museum received final design approvals for the landscaped garage and sculpture garden from the Fairmount Park Commission, Philadelphia Art Commission, and the Philadelphia Historic Commission. The Museum began construction in late 2006.

A few facts about the landscaped parking facility and rooftop sculpture garden:
  • The Museum paid the full cost of design and construction of the garage, and is operating costs. The City of Philadelphia did not providing any funding for this project.
  • The Museum manages and operates the new parking facility.
  • The garage accommodates approximately 400–440 cars.
  • The parking facility is intended primarily to serve Museum visitors.
  • The Museum wants the visitor's experience to be as affordable as possible. Parking rates, therefore, have been set at a reasonable level that so as to encourage maximum use of the facility.
  • Security lighting and surveillance help provide a safe environment for those using both the parking facility and rooftop sculpture garden.

Relocated Surface Parking

The Museum's parking garage and sculpture garden was built upon the existing Fairmount Avenue surface parking lot that once accommodated 84 vehicles and extended from the Italian Fountain to Kelly Drive parallel to the Azalea Garden.

Illustrative Site Plan

The parking spaces in that lot had been designated by contract for exclusive use by the Water Works Restaurant and Lounge from 11:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m., seven days a week. In order to relocate those spaces, the Park and the Museum provided the spaces listed below:
  • 18 existing spaces along the driveway leading to the restaurant
  • 38 marked spaces around the Italian Fountain, which will be restriped
  • 10 spaces in the Italian Fountain bus drop-off zone
  • 14 spaces in the Museum's parking garage

West Entrance View from Italian Fountain

Additionally, a new 27-car parking area for public use was built between Waterworks Drive and the Schuylkill River. This lot is available to the public 24 hours a day and contains environmental features such as pervious paving, perforated curbing, and an adjacent rain garden to manage stormwater runoff. The Museum funded the design and construction of the new 27-car parking area and the restriping of the Italian Fountain parking. The new parking area was constructed concurrent with the construction of the parking garage.