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. Read more »
The LOVE Sculpture by Robert Indiana is up there with the Liberty Bell and the cheesesteak for ubiquitous icons of Philadelphia-ness. And it may soon have a permanent Spanish-language partner just a few blocks up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Read more »
For the George Young Company, it was a labor of love.
“It’s the kind of thing we do as a niche business,” company president George S. Young said while watching workers move Love into place. “And so we handle a lot of sculptures. We have a reputation for doing this. We moved the Liberty Bell. We did the Clothespin; we put in Rizzo over here.”
George Young Company, which was founded in Philadelphia in 1869, is named after a great-great uncle of Young’s who won the company from his great-great grandfather in a poker game. (Unfortunately, the current George Young didn’t know the winning hand.) Workers from the company guided the Love sculpture on a slow journey from one plaza to another this morning.
“What goes into this is typically we look at the piece and we try to determine how it’s secured to the base,” Young said. “So those straps that you see around it are nothing more than — they’re just a safety. Just in case the hardware inside that holds it to the base is defective.” Workers then screwed the sculpture’s stand to a temporary concrete base that was later covered up with a decorative slab. Read more »
On Friday I wrote about how skateboarders turned LOVE Park into a great public place. The park is now being overhauled with a new design, and it was re-opened to skateboarders for five days before major construction begins.
All weekend, hundreds of people braved cold temperatures to skate at the park; on Friday night they were even shoveling snow. In case you wondered just how Philly this was, there were two flaming barrels at LOVE yesterday.
But I didn’t write about the time when a 92-year-old Ed Bacon, the city planner responsible for LOVE Park, skated across it in 2002 in defiance of Mayor John Street and City Council’s skateboarding ban. It was awesome, and you can watch it above. Read more »
This week Mayor Jim Kenney announced that skating would be allowed at LOVE Park one last time before it’s closed for a massive overhaul. Dan McQuade wrote about why all Philadelphians should mourn the loss of the space as a skating mecca, calling LOVE “an under-utilized city park turned into something great by skaters.” Photographer Jeff Fusco braved the cold to capture the scene as many skaters take their final spins.
In some ways, it seemed like a mean joke.
Jim Kenney’s announcement that skateboarding was legal at LOVE Park was a great idea. It was well intentioned, too; he certainly didn’t have to open the park to skateboarders before it’s overhauled with a new design. But it’s also kind of hilarious: Yo, skateboarders: You’re finally allowed to skate in LOVE Park … for five days… during the coldest week of winter. I’m surprised John Street and Michael Nutter didn’t come out and break skateboards over their knees at the end of the announcement.
But Philly area skateboarders did not let the cold hold them back. Maybe 50 skaters were there around lunchtime Friday, braving 25-degree temperatures to give it one last go. (See more of Jeff Fusco’s photos here.) They grinded on the granite benches and did kickflips down the stairs. They all attempted to land a serious jump — from the top near the sculpture all the way into the empty fountain. It made me feel like a kid again. Read more »
And today, Mayor Jim Kenney made a major announcement: At the LOVE Park “spaceship” building, Kenney said the ban on skateboarding at the park was being lifted … until February 15th, when it’s closed for renovation. “Come back for one more spin,” Kenney said. The idea came from Jesse Rendell, the son of former mayor and Gov. Ed Rendell. Read more »
The $16.5 million revamp of JFK Plaza/LOVE Park will officially commence this Wednesday, as city officials and project partners will gather for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the iconic public square at 11 a.m.
It’s unclear when LOVE Park will officially close to the public. Construction is anticipated to begin in the spring and last 12 to 16 months.
Philadelphians brought glowing lanterns of all shapes, colors and sizes to the first-ever Lantern Parade to Christmas Village over the weekend. The procession began at Comcast Center Plaza and made its way to LOVE Park for the annual tree-lighting ceremony, with folks singing carols along the way. The actual tree-lighting saw a performance from The Philly POPS Brass Quintet, and appearances by CBS3 Meteorologist Kate Bilo and First Deputy Commissioner of Parks & Facilities Mark Focht, who had the honor of flipping the switch. Check out photos from the event below for some beginning-of-the-week holiday inspiration:
Tomorrow night before the tree-lighting ceremony at Christmas Village, locals will gather at the Comcast Center with glowing lanterns to embark on a Christmas carol-backed parade to LOVE Park. There’s a whole itinerary involved, with multiple locations and rules about what kind of lanterns to bring, so I thought I’d put together this nifty guide so you can show up well-prepared to celebrate this first-of-its-kind — and really cool sounding — Lantern Parade.