After months of discussion, an accord has finally been reached for how to refurbish of JFK Plaza. According to the Inquirer’s Troy Graham, Mayor Nutter and City Council President Darrell Clarke signed a document “that outlines their ‘shared vision’” for the park. Compromise from both parties is evident in the new plan, which includes information about what would be retained, what would be added, and how it would all be funded.
To avoid dipping into the city’s reserves, the renovation project would funded by the sale of the garage beneath the plaza, and Liberty Property Trust would offer free planning and design services.
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NewsWorks reports that Mayor Michael Nutter and Council President Darrell Clarke have reached agreement over the future of Love Park—a joint vision that involves creating new green space while offering urban amenities like restaurants. ”I want to say how excited I am about the prospects of having a well-balanced approach to redoing this park and bring some level of vibrancy to this park,” Clarke said. “No longer will people be talking about Bryant Park in New York and in London, they are going to be talking about Love Park in the city of Philadelphia.”
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Today the Daily News’ Jenny DeHuff takes up the question of Darrell Clarke’s … intriguing plans for LOVE Park. As Property author Sandy Smith noted when Clarke first proposed putting restaurants in the park to generate revenue, “We should take Clarke’s proposed design as the start of a path to a new and livelier LOVE Park, not as its final form…it could stand some refinement.
DeHuff notes that Smith isn’t alone in that assessment:
“Critics of the proposal agree that revenue-generating is necessary for the city to pay its bills, but not by way of building up what’s intended to be open space, something already lacking in Center City.”
Indeed, a park-land ordinance from 2011 requires that developers who build on existing open space replace it with equivalent open space elsewhere. (This ordinance is what stymied Temple University’s boathouse proposal, now a moot point anyway.) In this case, any new commercial developments at LOVE Park would have to undergo state and federal review.
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City Council President Darrell Clarke is floating a plan to take care of rehabilitating LOVE Park the same way the city is going about rehabilitating the parking garage under it: By having private business foot the bill for the repairs.
Mayor Nutter has already announced that the garage would be sold to Chicago-based InterPark, which bid $30 million for it. InterPark would then renovate the garage on its own dime and restore the park – formally, John F. Kennedy Plaza still – with $16.5 million from the city.
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LOVE Park duvet by Urban Works Textiles via Etsy
Lovely as they may be, skyline prints can be a little cliché. At least that’s what we thought before stumbling onto an Etsy gem that made us love them all over again!
Luxurious home décor meets fun artwork to make a charming union on this crisp white duvet. The inky image design of the Philadelphia cityscape is possibly what gives this otherwise “soft to the touch” clean cover its friendly character. The included pillow cases with high flying birds add to the already pleasant bedspread.
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Today, chef Scott Schroeder of American Sardine Bar and South Philadelphia Taproom will be serving up a special hot dog from the Dapper Dog food truck today. Schroeder is keeping exactly what he’s serving a bit of a secret. All we could find out was that it is “Mexican inspired.” Meal Ticket is thinking it is a bacon-wrapped dog piled high with all sorts of Mexican toppings.
Whatever it is, we’ll hazard to guess it will make for a great lunch today.
The Dapper Dog [Official Site]
Last week Philly Mag posted what seemed to be a fairly innocuous question on its Facebook page: “LOVE Park will be getting an upgrade. What would you like to see happen there?” Some answers addressed the question in the way we expected: “Some cool digital features like a virtual tourist center or something on the history behind the LOVE statue.” Or, “More sculptures/art … maybe pieces you can sit on.”
But then there were also responses like this one: “Less half naked bums scratching their asses and feeding the pigeons.”
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News you don’t care about: The city is planning to sell the garage beneath LOVE Park to a developer. News you do care about: Whoever that developer is gets a bunch of control to renovate/remodel LOVE Park itself.
The buyer of the deteriorating, 820-space garage would also serve as the developer and project manager of a $16.5 million overhaul of the park, which would be paid for by the city. The administration would retain approval over the design, which would have to follow rules laid out when the city posted the sale notice on its website Wednesday. The design must keep – and most likely upgrade – the most iconic features, including the fountain, the Fairmount Park Welcome Center with its “Googie-style” design, and Robert Indiana’s tourist-magnet sculpture.
The rest seems to be up for grabs. So….can we finally get rid of the Kraft Mac n Cheese “sculpture” befouling the park? Temporary giant L.L. Bean boots are fine. [Inquirer]
Food truck culture has truly taken off in Philadelphia. Night Markets are supported by than 60 food trucks and on any given day, there are as many on the streets of the city and not just in University City. Nowadays, food trucks find their way to Love Park and City Hall as well as down to the Navy Yard. Open air markets like PHAIR and Brooklyn Flea Philly also make use of mobile food vendors.
Below is our listing of where to find food trucks, from daily lunches to farmers’ market snacks. Among the spots you might not know about:
- Food trucks become a daily occurrence at the Navy Yard starting on July 1st.
- Eakins Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway gets food trucks as of Wednesday, July 17th.
Find the food trucks »
Love Park is introducing more than 15 new food trucks to Love Park lunchers over the summer. Wednesdays will feature new trucks with the food trucks you’re familiar with, vending other days of the week.
The new trucks debut today with:
Also new for 2013, Philly Pretzel Factor and Rita’s Water Ice will be vending to tourists by the LOVE Sculpture and there will be some weekends with food trucks.
Check out the new vendors and schedule »