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Rittenhouse Square was down a bike rack over the past couple of months. But don’t worry, it’s back and it has a name.

Yes, a bike rack can have a name.

“Gilded Gates: Yellin 1,” recently made its debut on 18th street just south of Walnut. It may look fancy but it is supposed to get scuffed up by the U-Locks of local cyclists. A second is set to be installed, also on 18th, closer to Locust St.

Ritt NE Rack2

From Left to Right: The Bicycle Coalition’s Leslye Silver, Diana Owens, and Alan Spooner

Philly has long been stepping up its bike infrastructure game and this is the newest step in the city branching out to incorporate public art with a practical use in the city. Funds for these racks were awarded by a grant from the Knight Foundation which was applied for in a partnership between the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.

Ritt NE Rack4

After a competition between local artists, the winning design was submitted by Jason Lempieri of local design firm ReThinkTank. Its design, according the firm’s website, celebrates the ironwork of Samuel Yellin.

This is an ongoing project which will see similar bikes installed in neighborhoods and public squares around the city, each of them considered as a piece of public art as well as a functioning bike rack. Or “public art with a purpose.” They will showcase the works of local artists and continue to raise awareness of sustainability through bicycles.

In order to keep this project under way, we are always in search of future donors who would be generous enough to provide more funds for bike racks like these. Anyone who is interested can contact Alan Spooner at alan@bicyclecoation.org.

-Zach Mentzer

Bicycle Coalition

Author

A graduate of the Restaurant School, Director of Development Alan Spooner began his culinary career in Philadelphia and New York, and then cooked his way out west. In Colorado he began biking the Boulder Creek Path to his job at the Bistro Morgul Bismark. When he moved to California, he worked as a pastry chef at the renown restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley and became a motorcyclist. One motorcycle crash and career change later, he began working at a non-profit in support of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.