April 29, 2002
ONLY IN Philadelphia would a park named "Love" create so much heartburn. The sickening graffiti scrawled on the LOVE Park statue, and arrests late last week of a group blocking construction, will probably not be the final chapter in the fractious story of LOVE Park's interim spruce-up, which has just begun. When plans to renovate the park came to light, the loudest yelps of pain came from the skateboarders, who claim that they were the only ones who cared about the concrete park while everyone else ignored it, so why should they give it up?
December 11, 2002 |
I am a lover of parks. Having worked in Philadelphia for many years, I have had the pleasure of seeking out the quiet seclusion of the small, quiet courtyards scattered throughout the historic district and the shaded walkways of Rittenhouse Square, with its eclectic mix of office workers and street people. As parks go, few people familiar with the gritty expanse of concrete bordered by 15th Street, Broad Street, Arch Street, and JFK Boulevard would have characterized this spot as a place of pastoral respite.
October 18, 2012
Just when you think no one really cares, someone steps up to prove you wrong. Like the 50 people who heeded a local cleaning-supply company's call to help clean up LOVE Park. With brooms, dustpans, and trash bags, they staged a "flash cleanup. " In a delightful video ( http://vimeo.com/51066383 ), dozens of merry cleaners can be seen sweeping, bagging, and rooting through plant beds. A woman mugs for the camera while picking up a banana peel. Another sweeps up leaves - in heels no less - proving civic pride can transcend foot discomfort.
January 7, 2014 |
A PROPOSAL BY City Council President Darrell Clarke for LOVE Park has some folks in city government scratching their heads. Some experts say the idea to erect seven restaurants in JFK Plaza - a/k/a LOVE Park - would likely trigger ordinances at the local, state and federal levels designed to protect city-owned parkland. In November, Clarke commissioned the Philadelphia-based Daroff Design Inc. to draw up sketches of what LOVE Park might look like with eateries, kiosks and a bandstand along the perimeter.
June 5, 2014 |
MIKE THOMPSON'S eyes well up, wet and full as puddles, as he recalls his brother, Tom. "I would visit him occasionally and he would talk about things that didn't make sense to me," Thompson, 57, says in a video. "He struggled. And then one day I got a call. " He pauses for a moment and purses his lips: "My brother killed himself. " "I am Mike Thompson and I will listen," he says as the video fades. The video was presented as part of the nation's first #IWillListen Day, held yesterday in LOVE Park in an effort to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness.
June 1, 2014 |
A homeless man convicted of stabbing and killing another homeless man in Center City's LOVE Park after an argument was sentenced to eight to 25 years in prison Friday. Frederick Mills, 47, apologized for killing Allen Jordan, 43, after a late-night confrontation in August 2011. During a jury trial in February before Common Pleas Court Judge Linda Carpenter, Mills testified that he got into the argument with Jordan after he was roughed up and robbed of jewelry. "He has no prior record and he's 47 years old," defense attorney Jay S. Gottlieb said of Mills.
August 10, 1998 |
It sits underneath I-95, nestled between concrete barriers and tucked away at the back of FDR Park in South Philadelphia. Skaters come from across the nation to sample the gravity-defying twists and turns of the obstacles of the skateboarders' park. Four years after the Rendell administration proposed banning skateboarding at JFK Plaza - or "Love Park" as skateboarders across the nation called it - its replacement is even more popular than its predecessor. "It's a success," said Shane VonHartleben, 24, owner of Subzero Skateboard and Snowboard Shop on 5th Street near South.
August 4, 2003
LOVE MUST OFTEN change in order to grow. So do editorial boards. That's why this one is now giving a tentative thumbs-up to a new plan that could bring skateboarders back to LOVE Park. Last year, we supported Mayor Street's action to shut down the park to skateboarders and redesign it to encourage wider use. We disagreed with skateboarders and their supporters that this park should be signed over to the ones who use it most. We still believe that a city park, especially one in the heart of the city, should not be designated the exclusive domain of any single group.
June 26, 2002 |
The broad runways of rickety granite paving stones are gone. So are the hard benches that banged wheels and shins, the round concrete planters, the scraggly shrubbery, and the sheer grittiness of the place. LOVE Park, once one of the great touring sites in the world of skateboarding, is only a memory now. In its place, and nearing completion, is a renovated JFK Plaza, a little more grassy and a lot less brassy. The city hopes to reopen the park, closed since the end of April, by July 3 - in time for much of the citywide Welcome America!
July 29, 2003
Sometimes a good idea has to go dormant awhile, get revived and gussied up, then presented again before people take it seriously. That's how the effort to return skateboarders to LOVE Park is rolling. There always has been a way to satisfy two worthy usages of the Center City park - giving people a grassy lunch spot and allowing skateboarders to do their thing. But only one side has been served so far, as Mayor Street had JFK Plaza redesigned last year and, with City Council, kept skaters out. The city should continue its commendable plans to help skaters build a privately financed skate park at the Schuylkill River Park.