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.
November 24, 2013 |
THE MAYOR'S OFFICE has chosen the highest bidder to purchase the parking garage under JFK Plaza, but a Nutter-backed bill sent to City Council on Thursday morning saw no introduction, and a spokesman for the administration says Council is dragging its feet on what could be a huge windfall for the city. Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald said the city plans to award the contract to Chicago-based Interpark LLC, which already runs a garage at 13th and Locust streets. The plaza above the garage, at 15th Street and JFK Boulevard, commonly known as LOVE Park for its iconic statue, is set to be rebuilt as the parking structure is repaired.
March 9, 2011
AS I WAS reading Gregory Heller's op-ed "One last chance for Love Park," I couldn't help think of its neighbor, Dilworth Plaza, whose fate is truly appalling - demolition. This wonderfully designed plaza is being demolished because it is only a walk-through - and too noisy with traffic roaring around it. But there are many things we can do with it. The lower section can be used for entertainment and information. TV screens, like those at the president's house, placed on the walls, showing the government access station, another showing Ron Avery's "Urban Explorer," another showing City Hall history.
July 4, 2002 |
As city officials and others in suits drifted toward the official platform, skateboard enthusiast Pat Gunter of Ontario, Canada, wistfully wandered about LOVE Park yesterday, snapping pictures of all the spots he remembered from magazines and Web sites. The occasion was the official reopening by Mayor Street of the newly refurbished LOVE Park - formally known as JFK Plaza - at 15th Street and JFK Boulevard. The mayor welcomed everyone to enjoy it - everyone but the skateboarders who made it world-famous.
June 1, 2003 |
It's been a year since the city shut down one of the world's best-known public skateboarding venues, LOVE Park - drawing anguished cries from skaters, their supporters, and lovers of urban grit and energy everywhere. Despite well-publicized promises by Mayor Street to offset the loss of LOVE Park with a dedicated skateboard park, plans for such a site have barely advanced beyond the early planning stage - and no public funds are available for construction anyway. A site along the Schuylkill behind the Art Museum has been identified by the city Planning Commission as a likely park area, but the Fairmount Park Commission has not formally reviewed proposals or given approvals.
April 19, 2002 |
Despite the clamorous opposition of skateboarders and their swelling group of fans, the Street administration is pushing ahead with a $1 million plan to renovate LOVE Park - severely curtailing the park's allure as a mecca for skateboarders. In an effort to ease the sting, Street has agreed to come up with land for a new skateboard park somewhere in the Center City area, possibly near the 15th Street on-ramp for the Vine Street Expressway, said spokesman Frank Keel. The city also has agreed to donate the granite slabs, paving stones, benches, and ledges torn up from LOVE Park - known to skateboarders all over the world as a kind of Bonzai Pipeline of their sport - for use in the new park, Keel said.
April 23, 2002 |
The end of LOVE Park as a mecca for skateboarding is "a done deal," a city official said yesterday. But a new skateboard park is definitely coming - though it will not be at a proposed site hard by the whooshing traffic of a Vine Street Expressway on-ramp. At a meeting with representatives of skateboard groups yesterday, city officials committed themselves to finding a suitable skateboarding site as soon as possible, and made clear that LOVE Park, officially known as JFK Plaza, would be renovated - despite the protests, despite the letters of outrage, despite the newspaper editorials and growing public sympathy for skateboarders and their bedraggled paradise.
September 14, 2006 |
Everyone agreed yesterday that the late urban planner Ed Bacon would have loved it: official commemoration of his career at one of his proudest creations, LOVE Park in Center City. To anyone who knew him, one other thing was equally clear: Had Ed Bacon been in attendance, he would have used the occasion to buttonhole Mayor Street and other officials one more time to try to persuade them to let skateboarders back in the park. "With LOVE Park, his first-born, I don't think anybody - including Ed Bacon - had any premonition that this would become the skateboard capital of the East Coast," State Rep. Mark B. Cohen, a Philadelphia Democrat and son of the late City Councilman David Cohen, told the crowd of about 100 gathered at the northwest corner of 15th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard.