Site/Sound was a unique new festival that took place in October 2019 to celebrate the past, present, and future of Philadelphia’s Rail Park. Through community workshops, panels, tours, and performances, temporary audio-visual art installations and diverse music performances brought to life a shared urban space from the tracks and thoroughfares that were once the terminus of the mighty Reading Railroad.

Though Site/Sound has come to a close, you can explore this website to learn more about the groundbreaking projects and how they helped us reimagine Philadelphia’s Rail Park.

Introducing Site/Sound


Along the path of the current and future Rail Park, three temporary audio-visual installations brought public space to life in October 2019.


Aspect 281

Aspect 281

990 Spring Garden Street (East Lot)
Site is wheelchair accessible.
Installation open Thurs–Sun, 5–9 p.m.

A multimedia work inspired by the importance of railroading in Philadelphia’s development, and the signaling technology that made it possible.

Soon/ Now/ Gone

Soon/ Now/ Gone

October 5 / 990 Spring Garden Street (Rear Lot)

October 12 / Shamokin Street between North 11th Street & Ridge Avenue

October 19 / Under the Carlton Street Tunnel, between North 11th & North 12th Streets

All sites are wheelchair accessible.

At three different locations, Soon/ Now/ Gone engages with the Rail Park's history as a space for movement.

Moon Viewing Platform

Moon Viewing Platform

Viewable from 465 North 18th Street & 401 North 17th Street

Viewing sites are wheelchair accessible. Projections on view every night dusk–midnight.

Moon Viewing Platform turns an inhospitable and disused stretch of open-air land into a large-scale performance space, featuring nighttime projections and more.


Past Events

October 5
October 6

Rail Park Walking Tour

Meet at 21st Street & Pennsylvania Avenue

Join Friends of the Rail Park board members for a street-level walking tour and explore…

Voices of the Neighborhood with Ali Ruffner & Ben Emmanuel

The Rail Park, enter at Broad & Noble Streets

Experience the Rail Park through the voices of five long-term neighbors who have lived through…

October 8

Taiko Drumming with KyoDaiko

The Rail Park, enter at Broad & Noble Streets

Honoring the people of Asian descent who were instrumental in the construction of American railroads,…

October 10

Chinatown Anti-Displacement Walk

10th & Vine Plaza

Beginning in the heart of Chinatown, this special tour led by the Philadelphia Chinatown Development…

Community Workshop at the 2019 YeShi Chinatown Night Market

10th & Vine Plaza

At each Community Workshop, join us to make a special object that you can use…

October 11

muraLAB: Art-Making and Public Spaces

Triple Bottom Brewing, 915 Spring Garden Street

A Design Philadelphia event. Why does public art matter? How does it inspire wonder and…

October 12

Family Day

1100 Block of Callowhill Street

With Asian Arts Initiative and Philadelphia Community Development Corporation. This fun family day includes interactive…

October 13

Mural Arts Specialty Tour

The Rail Park, enter at Broad & Noble Streets

Join us for a special walking tour led by a professionally-trained Mural Arts tour guide!…

October 15

Smashboards to Bugs: An Insider Look at the Evolution of Railroad Signaling with Historian John Hepp

Azavea, 990 Spring Garden Street, 5th floor

Join us for talk with Historian John Hepp, who will take us through the history…

October 16

Storytelling with Auntie Kym

Vox Populi Gallery, 319 North 11th Street

Auntie Kym, created by artist Kymberlee Johnson-Norfleet, will host an evening featuring personal stories and…

October 17

CANCELED: BYODinner x Film Screening: Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival + cinéSPEAK present 9-Man

The Rail Park, enter at Broad & Noble Streets


October 18

Homegrown with Pecola Breedlove & The Freedom Party

W/N W/N Coffee Bar, 931 Spring Garden Street

Pecola Breedlove & The Freedom Party is a gathering space for poets, lovers of poetry,…

October 19

Mandala Meditation with Bethesda Project

Under the Viaduct, 907 Hamilton Street (10th & Hamilton Streets)

In partnership with Bethesda Project, watch and reflect as scholar, artist, and former Buddhist monk…


Site/Sound: Revealing the Rail Park Moon Viewing Platform

Site/Sound: Revealing the Rail Park Moon Viewing Platform

For Site/Sound: Revealing the Rail Park, Nadia Hironaka, Matt Suib, and Eugene Lew teamed up…

Observations on Aspect 281 and Site/Sound: Revealing the Rail Park

Observations on Aspect 281 and Site/Sound: Revealing the Rail Park

Urbanist philosopher Henri Lefebvre used the term rythmanalysis to name his method of analyzing the…

Reflections on Moon Viewing Platform

Reflections on Moon Viewing Platform

I hear pre-recorded, syncopated music with a voice reciting Japanese numbers, “ichi, ni, san, shi,…

Reflections on Aspect 281

Reflections on Aspect 281

In the Pennsylvania system of railroad signaling, Rule 281 means “all clear and proceed.” The…

Reflections on Soon/ Now/ Gone

Reflections on Soon/ Now/ Gone

Jenna Horton’s wide eyes and multi-directional cowlicked hair gives the impression that she has just…

What is Site/Sound?

What is Site/Sound?

This October, look forward to a unique collaborative project in partnership with Friends of the…


Through soundscapes, large-scale projections, pop-up experiences, film screenings, live music and dance performances, special tours, and family programming, Site/Sound will activate the Rail Park’s current quarter-mile of elevated green space—while inviting the public to envision its future path, both above and below the cityscape. The three core installations take place in various locations bounded by Vine & Spring Garden Streets and 9th & 18th Streets.


Gene Coleman

Gene Coleman is a composer, musician, and director. A 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and the winner of the 2013 Berlin Prize for Music, he has created over 70 works for various instrumentation and media. Coleman makes innovative use of sound, image, space, and time to create work that expands our understanding of the world. Since 2001, his work has focused on the global transformation of culture and music’s relationship with science, architecture, and new media. Coleman has been the composer-in-residence at numerous sites including the American Academy in Berlin and has been a guest artist and lecturer at many universities, including Hong Kong University and the University of Pennsylvania. In 2016, Coleman launched the Algo.Institute, a research and creation network of composers, scientists, technologists, and artists from various disciplines. He is the artistic director of Soundfield, a producing organization, and director of “Ensemble Noamnesia,” a new music group. In 2016, he was named Director of the American Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter.


Additional funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts

Presenting Organizations

“This is an incredibly exciting initiative that offers our community the opportunity to celebrate the history, experience the present, and imagine the future of this public space.”

“Artists have an uncanny ability to make us see things we thought we knew, in a new and inspiring light. And the work created this fall will do just that.”

“Each installation creates spaces of environmental, social, and historic meditation, incorporating sound and audio-visual media as new forms of expression in public art and reflecting the history and future of the Rail Park, a new vital cultural asset to the city.”


Event Info:
Shawn Sheu
Community Engagement and Programs Manager
Cari Feiler Bender
Relief Communications, LLC