Vare Recreation Center

Vare Recreation Center is MTWB’s fourth and largest park project to date. Located at 26th and Morris Streets in the Grays Ferry neighborhood of South Philly, the current site includes a pool, basketball courts, playing fields, play space and is home to the community’s beloved gymnastics and football teams. 

MTWB’s community engagement, design activities and events began in spring 2019 and to date have included a kick-off event; relationship building with community members through visits to practices and programs; Vare Studio,a research and archiving project partnership with Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (PPAC) and Monument Lab to collect, preserve, and share photographic and oral histories of Vare Recreation Center; and design workshops where community members shared priorities, goals, and themes for the new site design and building. In the coming months, additional workshops will build upon the community’s feedback in early design workshops, offering opportunities to reimagine Vare through discussions focused on preferences such as visual language and site and building layout.

The Vare Project is being achieved through the City’s Rebuild Initiative, in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and Philadelphia City Council. Improvements are made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.






Years as a dedicated as a public playground



community member interviews recorded for the Vare Studio Research & Archiving Project

“The thing that makes Vare special is that we have become a family over time. This is not just a recreation center. To a lot of people, this is home.”

-Clinton Mike Carter, Vare Recreation Center & Community Advocate