Second Phase of LOVE Park’s Facelift Kicks Off

Saint-Gobain, an international building materials company with Malvern headquarters, will donate $700K to the park.
Chromoscope rendering courtesy of Haddad|Drugan and Kieran Timberlake

Chromoscope rendering courtesy of Haddad|Drugan and Kieran Timberlake

LOVE Park entered the second phase of renovation in its $16.5 million facelift yesterday, and Mayor Jim Kenney as well as officials from the project’s main sponsor, Saint-Gobain, were there to announce it.

Saint-Gobain, an international building materials company with Malvern headquarters, will donate $700,000 to the park over five years, officials announced yesterday when they deemed the company the park’s official presenting sponsor.

“We are in the midst of a parks renaissance, and the partnership between city government and the private sector is stronger than ever,” Kenney said. “Saint-Gobain’s commitment speaks to its understanding of the value our parks play in Philadelphia.”

Saint-Gobain is also known for presenting “Future Sensations,” the set of colorful, illuminated and interactive exhibits that took over Eakins Oval in the spring of 2015. The company’s LOVE Park gift will go toward the redesign and reconstruction of the park’s saucer-shaped Welcome Center, which will become a main attribute of the redesigned space.

In other changes, the park will see added green space, trees, and shrubbery; additional fountains and rain gardens; and a more colorful overall design. The next phase of construction will begin with modifications to the parking garage below the park, which was sold to InterPark for close to $30 million in 2014.

Also in attendance at yesterday’s event were City Council president Darrell Clarke, Parks and Recreation commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell and the city’s managing director, Mike DiBerardinis. Kenney, Clarke and others took turns putting their faces in the holes of a new standing rendition of the park, and the result was mildly amusing.

LOVE park, which is currently missing its famous statue, is expected to reopen in late spring.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.