April 11, 2015 |
For almost two weeks, a poll on Philadelphia Magazine's Property website has been asking, "Which LOVE Park design do you love?" It refers to four drawings that were shown by landscape architects from Hargreaves Associates at a March 24 public meeting. That event ended with city Deputy Parks Commissioner Mark Focht also asking the audience to pick their favorite. This may sound like carping, but those images are not designs - they're diagrams. They're certainly an important step in the process of redesigning the problematic park across from City Hall, a gateway to the Parkway.
March 28, 2015
ISSUE | SPECIAL ELECTION Democrats rebuffed What a great win for Martina White in the state House race in Northeast Philadelphia. And what a message about the legacy left by now-Congressman Brendan Boyle and a wake-up call for those voting Democratic. Finally, some union members are realizing that Democrats don't have their interests at heart unless they're donating plenty of money. |Stephen Dreher, Philadelphia ISSUE | PA. BUDGET Bold is best Gov. Wolf's budget proposal is right on the money: It is time to go big ("Senator: If no pension fix - no deal," March 24)
March 26, 2015 |
LOVE Park is getting a new fountain, lots of lawn space, gardens, and a food-truck area. The question is, What goes where? The design team working on the $15 million renovation of JFK Plaza presented four designs to the community at a meeting Tuesday at the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia. The four plans, presented by Mary Margaret Jones, president of the project's lead architectural firm, Hargreaves Associates, include all the same elements but vary in layout.
September 16, 2014
ISSUE | NAME GAME Jefferson and what? What a coup for SEPTA to receive a significant financial contribution from Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals to rename Market East Station. And it's a brilliant move by Jefferson to put itself on the Philadelphia transit map. While Jefferson staff and patients will benefit, however, the general public may get lost. Transit stations are not like ballparks: They cannot change their names every two years and expect to serve local and visiting customers effectively.
July 17, 2014 |
JIM MORA sat in the den of his Palm Springs home, tan and fit and still so damn young-looking even at the age of 79. Behind him, the walls were filled with dozens of pictorial memories of a successful coaching career that saw his teams win 125 NFL regular-season games. Only 24 other coaches in history have more victories. But the photograph Mora was focused on at the moment had nothing to do with any of those 125 wins. The picture shows him standing on a platform in JFK Plaza holding up a trophy with two other men. It was taken 30 years ago today, at the end of the victory parade the city threw for Mora and his Philadelphia Stars after they won the United States Football League championship with a 23-3 win over George Allen's Arizona Wranglers.
March 6, 2014 |
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Mayor Nutter and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke came to an agreement on the renovation of John F. Kennedy Plaza, better known to skateboarders, lunching office workers, tourists, and bridal parties as LOVE Park. There had been a fierce debate about its fate, but one thing had never been in dispute: The LOVE sculpture would stay. After all, the sculpture - based on a distinctive, stacked composition created by Robert Indiana 50 years ago - is practically the unofficial logo of Philadelphia.
February 15, 2014
Campfire passions Many think of the soldiers at the 1777-78 Valley Forge encampment as being miserable, hungry men wearing ragged clothing and huddled around meager campfires. But many soldiers burned with passion for their country - and for their wives. As 21-year-old Maj. Samuel Ward Jr. of Rhode Island, a newlywed, wrote to his wife Phebe from camp, "The frequent opportunities that offer of conversing with you and the expectation of soon holding you again in my arms makes me very happy.
February 12, 2014 |
MAYOR NUTTER and City Council President Darrell Clarke have reached a compromise on the renovation of JFK Plaza (a/k/a LOVE Park) after weeks of sparring over the issue. Clarke agreed to allow plans for the sale of the garage beneath the plaza to advance in City Council, a transaction Nutter's been pushing for since the city garnered a more generous offer for it than was expected. In exchange, the mayor agreed to "dedicated space for [food] concessions" at the site, while seeking participation from the public and the private sector in studying ways to maximize revenue.
February 12, 2014 |
Mayor Nutter and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke have reached an agreement that would allow the rehabilitation of John F. Kennedy Plaza and the sale of the garage beneath LOVE Park to move ahead. After a news conference Monday on the frigid and windswept Center City plaza, the two signed a document that outlines their "shared vision for LOVE Park. " That vision no longer contains the seven restaurants Clarke called for in December - a proposal he fired across the mayor's bow in response to plans to pay for the $15 million park redo with tax dollars.
January 15, 2014
IN THE discussions about the future of LOVE Park, imagine: a bigger park. Raise up the now-ground level park to a height equal to the Municipal Services Building's Thomas Paine Plaza, then connect the JFK Plaza and Thomas Paine Plaza with two attractively designed pedestrian bridges over 15th Street, at the corners of JFK and Arch Street. Pedestrian connectivity gets maximized and results in a bigger, larger sense of an urban "park" for a new, phenomenal people resource more consistent with William Penn's original design, and replacing the lost Center Square, a park which was later used to build City Hall.