Can Center City’s Flying Saucer Be Saved?

Image from Fairmount Park archives via Preservation Alliance website.

Image from Fairmount Park archives via Preservation Alliance website.

Used to be the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia released an annual list of 12 “endangered properties” — bricks-and-mortar equivalents of trembling polar bears clinging to melting blocks of ice. Today the Alliance announces a change: it’ll release the same kind of list three times a year, with four properties each time, and call it “Places to Save,” which rolls off the tongue and rids the whole endeavor of its woolly mammoth feel.

The four picks for this cycle include the William Penn Inn, the Mt. Moriah Cemetery Gatehouse, the Blue Horizon boxing venue, and the flying saucer in LOVE Park, aka, the Fairmount Park Welcome Center. Now, the first three picks have rather obvious merit, but there are many people who look at that round, midcentury yo-yo building and don’t quite get it. What the heck is it? Why is it?

Designed by architect Roy Larsen of Harbeson, Hough, Livingston & Larsen, it was built in 1960 as the Philadelphia Hospitality Center. This was well before the city’s visitors center was even a glimmer in Philadelphia’s eye, and the architecture and concept were both cutting-edge at the time. “There was a huge amount of civic pride at building this architectural wonder at the base of Penn Center,” says Ben Leech, the Alliance’s director of advocacy. “Architecturally, it’s the last best example of postwar Penn Center optimism.”

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Do This: Power Yoga at LOVE Park Thursday

Photo by M. Fischetti for VISIT PHILADELPHIA™

Photo by M. Fischetti for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

UPDATe 9/25: Due to today’s rainy weather, the event has been rescheduled for Thursday, October 2nd, at the same time and place. If you’ve already RSVP’d, no need RSVP again.

Consider your Thursday workout plans covered, yogis: Thursday evening, Pop Up Yoga Philly is teaming up with Healthing You and Living Beyond Breast Cancer for an hourlong power yoga class at LOVE Park. Bonus: There will be free smoothie samples galore, you guys.

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UPDATE: Arrest Made in LOVE Park Attack; Teen Admits Participation to 6ABC

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[Update 2:20 pm] The AP reports that one of three suspects has been arrested.

Additionally, 6ABC interviewed a 19-year-old man, “Curtis,” who admitted being part of the attack.

“If I had the chance, I would apologize to that guy. I lost my cool,” said Curtis.

Why didn’t he walk away?

“I don’t know, I was just in the heat of the moment,” said Curtis.

[Update 9 am] Police have released their own version of the video — the victim’s face is blurred out — and a description of the suspects:

The police description:

Central Detective Division is looking to identify and locate the suspects who assaulted a Park Ranger in Logan Circle.

On August 15, 2014, 5:25 pm, the complainant, a Philadelphia Park Ranger, observed 6-8 skateboarders inside Love Park located at 1500 John F. Kennedy Boulevard and advised them they could not skateboard in the park. When suspect #1 refused to leave he raised his hands in a fighting stance. Suspect #2 who had a camera was videoing suspect #1 while suspect #3 was taunting for a fight. Suspect #1 then punched the complainant in the face and wrestled him to the ground where he began kicking, stomping and spiting on the Park Ranger. After assaulting the Park Ranger the suspects fled the area in an unknown direction.

Suspect Description:
Suspect #1: Black male, 19 years-of-age, 5’10″, dark complected, short braids, wearing a gray t-shirt with red lettering on the front.
Suspect #2: Asian male, 19-20 years-of-age, wearing a black t-shirt, and black pants,
Suspect #3: White male, 19 years-of-age, brown hair, clean shaven, wearing a black t-shirt with a white design on the front.

If you see these suspects do not approach them, contact 911 immediately.
To submit a tip via telephone, dial 215.686.TIPS (8477) or text a tip to PPD TIP or 773847.

If you have any information about this crime or these suspects, please contact:
Central Detective Division
Det. Wiegert #9034
215-686-3093/3094
DC# 14-09-031950

[Original] This is horrific:

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Ferguson Protest: Tourists Pose With “Dead” Teen at LOVE Park

ferguson-protest-love-park-tourists

On Saturday afternoon, Juilliard theater student Lee Edward Colston and Carver High School of Engineering and Science graduate Keith Wallace, among others, staged a silent Ferguson protest at iconic LOVE Park in Philadelphia, a popular destination with tourists for photo opportunities. And with Wallace — an MFA acting student at the University of California who is home on summer break — lying on the ground portraying Michael Brown, the unarmed teen shot dead by Ferguson police, the tourists continued snapping their smiley photos. Read more »

Morning Headlines: Nutter and Clarke Make Plan for LOVE Park

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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Nutter, Clarke Agree on Love Park Future

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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