PHOTOS: Skateboarders Take Final Spins, Spills at LOVE Park

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.

love park skaters B80E5724 More of Jeff Fusco’s photos after the jump »

A Farewell: LOVE Park, Skateboard Mecca

love park skaters B80E5948

Skateboarders at LOVE Park on Friday, February 12th. Photo | Jeff Fusco

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 »

It’s Now Legal to Skateboard at LOVE Park (For a Few Days)

LOVE Park

Photo | Jeff Fusco

LOVE Park is slated for a a major redesign, and today is the groundbreaking.

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 »

LOVE Park: Ceremonial Groundbreaking Set for Wednesday

LOVE Park | Hargreaves and Associates

LOVE Park | Hargreaves and Associates

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.

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PHOTOS: Holiday Lantern Parade and Tree-Lighting in Christmas Village

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:



The First-Ever Lantern Parade to Christmas Village Happens Tomorrow

Russ Brown Photography

Russ Brown Photography

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.

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PHOTOS: Opening Weekend at the Christmas Village in LOVE Park

After lots of buzz and a two-day sneak peek, Philly’s Christmas Village in LOVE Park is officially open. The German-inspired holiday attraction kicked off Thanksgiving Day and, according to organizers, drew a record number of visitors throughout the first weekend. Check out photos from the festivities below:



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Art Installation Will Light Up Welcome Center in LOVE Park Redesign

Chromoscope rendering courtesy of Haddad|Drugan and Kieran Timberlake

“Chromoscope” rendering courtesy of Haddad|Drugan and Kieran Timberlake

When the redesign of LOVE Park is complete, the already-futuristic-looking Welcome Center will look even more like a hovering spacecraft thanks to a $230,000 art installation that will have red, yellow and green lights beaming from its ceiling.

The project — a ceiling mural called Chromoscope — was dreamed up by Seattle-based art duo Haddad|Drugan (Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan). It keeps in tact the pavilion’s lantern-like lighting scheme, but adds in layers of colorful aluminum panels to create a funky abstract design made up of patterns and symbols inspired by Philly’s artistic and local history.

The lighting and design work together to create a different experience depending on the time of day or what color is illuminating the ceiling. In the daylight or when white light is used, for instance, all of the layered images will be visible at once, really showcasing the abstract design as a whole. When the sun sets, however, the “pattern becomes animated and kaleidoscopic with the projection of colored light onto the ceiling,” reads a description from Creative Philadelphia. Each of those colors will bring out different patterns in the design.

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Art Commission Gives Thumbs Up to LOVE Park Redesign

Aerial view of the new LOVE Park | Renderings: Hargreaves and Associates, KieranTimberlake and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

Aerial view of the new LOVE Park | Renderings: Hargreaves and Associates, KieranTimberlake and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

LOVE Park‘s ambitious redesign plan was approved by the Art Commission this week. While accolades for the park’s overall design and its metallic, color-changing Percent for Art installation were plentiful, the Commission wanted one tiny thing added to the final design: two public drinking fountains.

PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports that the Commission added “a requirement for the fountains,” which is important because unlike the non-binding design recommendations of Civic Design Review, the public fountains are now legally required to be installed in the park. The Art Commission has some juice, baby.

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Christmas Village in LOVE Park Will Open a Wee Bit Earlier This Year

Image courtesy of Russ Brown Photography

Image courtesy of Russ Brown Photography

Once again, LOVE Park will be transformed into an open-air German Christmas market throughout the holidays. But this year, you’ll be able to enjoy it for a wee bit longer. Organizers announced this week that, for the first time in its history, it will open before Thanksgiving, during a sneak-peek preview on November 21st and 22nd. It will open back up for good on Thanksgiving Day, November 26th and be in business through December 27th.

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