A new Philadelphia Police Department project to revamp the 16th District headquarters at 39th Street and Lancaster Avenue is protecting and serving… our waterways.

While we collaborate with an array of Philly-based organizations and City agencies, this is our first time joining forces with the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) and the Department of Public Property (DPP) on a large-scale Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) installation that also reinvests in buildings and structures where City employees work and where City equipment is housed.

As the first official PWD project on a PPD site, this endeavor is a model for future PPD greening projects.

Greening the Plaza + Modernizing the Parking Lot

This rendering shows a short set of stairs in front of the entrance on the right side of a brick building and the new ramp spanning the rest of the front below a row of windows, a triangular stormwater planter in front of the left side, and some trees and shrubs visible along the left side of the building.

Rendering of completed work at 16th Police District Headquarters (Image credit: Stantec Consulting Services Inc)

Our work is building on momentum, led by PPD and DPP, to revamp the station’s indoor and outdoor facilities.

The revitalized outdoor area will include a new stormwater planter in the front, which will welcome visitors to the 16th District headquarters with subsurface storage crates below a newly renovated parking lot in the rear. These upgrades will prevent polluted water from entering our creeks and rivers, while also greening and beautifying the block.

"It's a win-win when we can prioritize both capital upgrades and stormwater greening at City facilities and parking lots,” says PWD City Planner Amy Liu. “With DPP, PPD and the Fire Department, we will continue to develop innovative partnership strategies to co-invest on public safety sites while complementing safety and community outreach needs.”

GSI Features

A large infiltration basin below the rear parking lot of the headquarters bounded by Sloan, Union, and Warren Streets.

A small stormwater planter with subsurface storage trench (and ADA ramp) in front of the headquarters, located where North 39th Street, Lancaster Avenue, and Spring Garden Street meet.

the parking lot takes up the majority of a triangular block formed by Warren, Sloan, and Union Streets. This rendering shows the parking area outlined with a dotted line which will have stormwater storage installed beneath it, and trees along the Warren St. side and in the corner of Union and Sloan Streets.

Planned repaving & stormwater detention basin for 16th Police District staff parking lot.

The project, which includes several green streets, will manage more than 122,000 gallons of stormwater per typical storm. That adds up to 4.5 Greened Acres, with each Greened Acre managing nearly 30,000 gallons of stormwater runoff during a one-inch rainstorm — or about a SEPTA bus-sized load of polluted water!

After the installation of stormwater-capturing crates, the parking lot behind the police station will be repaved and manage more than 92,000 gallons of stormwater per typical storm event.

Learn more about the green tools planned for this project →

"PWD's green stormwater infrastructure improvements will give us a new space to share with members of our community,” says 16th Police District Captain Chanta Herder. “If we are to be successful in achieving our goals of crime prevention and violence reduction, community engagement and inclusion must be at the top of the 16th District priority list.”

With these green additions contributing to long-term improvement of the outdoor space, the district says it can even expand its successful events, such as job fairs, free haircuts, clothing drives, movie nights, and community days!

Police District Building Improvements

Separate from the stormwater features, the City is also implementing major improvements to the 16th Police District Headquarters building.

The headquarters is planning significant renovations, including replacing a steep set of stairs with an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible ramp that would make it both easier and safer to enter the building. Herder says the district always strives to ensure the facility is maintained, clean, and staffed by the very best.

“The 16th District couldn’t be more excited to partner with PWD on this exciting new venture,” Herder says. “Working collaboratively with PWD will ensure the residents of 16th District receive the highest levels of service. The last two years have been hard. The Philadelphia Police Department recognizes that we can’t be successful without the community’s’ trust and partnership. It is my hope that a partnership with PWD will greatly improve our reach to the community we serve by giving us a new and improved space to share with them. These improvements will ensure we have a space to create new partnerships that will undoubtedly make our communities safer.”

Our GSI investment also aligns with PPD’s vision to reimagine the plaza as a gathering space to build community relationships, including with organizations such as Tiny WPA, a local group “committed to building equity, better designed spaces, and stronger places in Philadelphia by supporting citizen-led design improvements.”

Tiny WPA has activated the 16th Police District site in the past by hosting community events and installing temporary play equipment.

the crowd at a Tiny-WPA-hosted community event at the 16th District station smiles for a photo taken from above at a crazy angle Tiny WPA leads community memebers in constructing picnic tables in front of the 16th Police District building

Tiny WPA works on community-inspiried improvements at the 16th Police District Headquarters in October 2018. (Photo credit: Tiny WPA)

Construction Timeline & Parking Concerns

Construction will start in approximately 2 to 6 months with the goal of completion by mid-2023.

Street parking during hours of construction will be restricted. Temporary “No Parking” signs will be installed as needed for safety and construction. Signs will be installed before the start of work indicating the dates and hours that the areas will be closed. Vehicular traffic, pedestrian access, trash collection and deliveries will be maintained. Any cars left on streets where work is scheduled to take place will be towed to a nearby public street. Project personnel will be available to direct you to your car.

See more details regarding construction and parking →

Next Steps

  • For more information on the 16th Police District GSI project, check its Project Page or Project Summary Sheet.
  • For questions about the construction status of this project, reach out to Amy Hopf, PWD Construction Outreach Specialist, at Amy.Hopf@phila.gov.
  • For questions regarding community outreach around GSI in West Philadelphia, contact PWD Outreach Specialist Daniel Schupsky at Daniel.Schupsky@Phila.gov.
Get updates on this construction and other projects in your neighborhood →

Header/preview image courtesy of Tiny WPA.