FEW CAN resist the hullabaloo and fanfare of a bright new park opening, and why should they? Yesterday's opening day for Dilworth Park was accented with fireworks and illuminations, musical ensembles and dancers, and bunny hoppers through the ground-level geysers outside City Hall.
But beyond all the pomp and circumstance, the People Paper surveyed several passers-by to see if they knew why the park is called Dilworth. Below are a few gems that turned up.
* "I know it was Dilworth Plaza before and now it's Dilworth Park, but I don't know why."
-Daniel Roth, South Philadelphia
* "Actually, I don't know why it's named Dilworth because I'm originally from Miami."
- Kimberly Bannerman, North Philadelphia
* "He was mayor of Philadelphia and went to Yale. He was a very friendly guy - didn't hate people, frequented the Racquet Club, the Union League and the Yale Club in New York City."
- Ed O'Donnell, former Occupy Philly member
* "It's named after an old mayor of Philadelphia, one of the best ones in the world, I guess."
- Gabby Shirdan, Upper Darby
* "I know a few things, but I don't know what the name is based off."
- Chip Fattah Jr., son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah
* "Dilworth was a mayor of the city who did a lot to rejuvenate and participate in the urban renewal of the city."
- Dan Rhoton, Mount Airy
* "Philadelphia's buildings used to be all soot-covered. Dilworth came up with a plan to clear this property, including removing this beautiful historic site that was Broad Street Station. This part really celebrates Dilworth's contributions to the complete redevelopment of Center City."
- Sam Katz, three-time Republican mayoral candidate
Richardson Dilworth was the city's 91st mayor and served from 1956 to 1962. One of his accomplishments was laying the groundwork for urban renewal and the transformation of Center City into the commercial and residential nexus it is today.