Romantics, Rejoice: Philly’s Love Lock Fence Debuts

The "Hope Fence" opened on Wednesday at Penn’s Landing.

love lock fence

Photos by HughE Dillon

Philly now has its very own Pont des Arts.

Maybe you’ve never heard the name of the Parisian bridge, but you’ll surely know it when you see it – it’s the one with all the locks (you know, the “love locks”).

On Wednesday, Philly’s own version of the bridge debuted in the form of the Love Lock “Hope Fence” – a gift to the city from Sarah and Dan Keating.

Dan, a cancer survivor and well-known construction manager and real estate developer, announced the 250-foot fence in appreciation of the American Association for Cancer Research. The organization will honor Dan and Sarah, his wife, with the Humanitarian Award at its upcoming Party With a Purpose gala.

The fence is now open at Penn’s Landing, and anyone who visits can attach a lock to it – it’s been specifically engineered to hold the weight (unlike the Pont des Arts).

Mitch Stoller, the executive director of the AACR Foundation, said the fence is inspired to create hope, which is “kind of what we try to do [at the AACR Foundation] day in and day out. The idea is that you put a message on a lock, put the lock on the fence, throw the key away, and that message is there forever.”

AACR, the world’s largest association related to cancer research, is headquartered at 615 Chestnut Street. Those who are interested will be able to buy a green AACR lock for $15 in the nearby Penn’s Landing Hilton gift shop. (You can attach any lock you want, but proceeds from those locks go to AACR.)

The love lock Hope Fence has already attracted quite a few visitors:

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