The next park to be highlighted is located right in the heart of downtown Lansdale adjacent to the SEPTA Lansdale/Doylestown railroad station in the 200 block of W. Main Street.
Railroad Plaza, even though it consists of just one-third of an acre, packs a punch with its central location and its famous Kugel ball.
This small spit of real estate was once home to the old Beinhacker Building that was built in 1880 and was originally known as Zane's store. Many businesses occupied this stately Victorian structure over the years, including the Lansdale News Agency, and a bakery. But the one most old-time residents remember was a clothing store. Grove’s Tavern, which was inconspicuously hidden around the back, also was torn down to eventually make way for the park.
Today, visitors to Railroad Plaza will find an inviting paved patio area with bench seating along the perimeter, as well as a stage area that is used for various music venues. Many celebrations and performances are centered here, including the annual tuba concert, the Community Christmas tree, the Menorah Lighting, and the crowning of Little Miss Lansdale. First Friday’s performers and noontime summer concerts draw audiences to the plaza.
The Kugel ball takes center stage in the park, and is an attraction in itself—intriguing to both children and adults alike.
The word Kugel is the German word for "ball" or "sphere," and Kugel balls can be found all over the world. The immensely heavy granite ball, which also doubles as a sculpture, is supported by a thin layer of water that flows from a spherical base. This small amount of water lubricates the ball, allowing it to remain upright and to spin freely.
The water surrounding the Lansdale Kugel ball is drained for the winter, and then the ball is encased to protect it from the elements. Residents look forward to its yearly end of hibernation and the return of its rhythmic flow of water and apparent ability to defy gravity.
The Lansdale Farmers Market will start its annual season, beginning at 9 a.m. and going until 1 p.m., this Saturday on Railroad Avenue at Main Street, where you will be able to find vendors plying their goods. This is diagonally across the street from Railroad Plaza. An array of fresh, local products will be available each Saturday, including vegetables, baked goods, dairy products, meats and plants, to mention just a few. More information is available at www.LansdaleFarmersMarket.org.
On Saturday, June 4, the Kugel Ball 5K will take off from Railroad Plaza and follow a pre-determined route through Lansdale Borough. Once again, the Lansdale YMCA and Parry Physical Therapy will sponsor the race, beginning at 8:30 a.m., with awards and trophies to be presented post race. T-shirts will be available to all those who pre-register while supplies last. Pre-registration is $20, with registration being $25 after June 1. Those wishing to register and obtain additional information may call LaCrest Health Center, located in Lansdale, at 215-368-1526.
Next Friday, Patch will showcase another favorite park located in Montgomery Township, loaded with enough amenities to please every member of the family.