Officially opened in Spring of 2018, the redesigned LOVE Park is a high-quality public space that prioritizes inclusivity and engagement.
The new design provides critical green space, including a great lawn and two gardens with native plantings; an open viewshed of the Parkway and City Hall, well-designed seating and pathways, and public restrooms. A new fountain features a monumental jet and a basket-weave of jets with programmable up-lighting for a stunning visual display. The improvements have increased the accessibility for both the garage and the Park.
LOVE Park also features new activities, programs and amenities. Weekdays from 11am-3pm, a rotating line-up of food trucks creates a delicious and fun outdoor food court. Café tables and chairs are available adjacent to the trucks to accommodate lunchtime visitors. Passive games, special events (including weddings), performances and a new restaurant in the Welcome Center building will round out the experience for the thousands of people visiting the park each day.
The Conservancy led fundraising efforts, including the development of a new Friends group, to afford the renovated park a high-level of maintenance, management and programming in the months and years to come. The organization worked closely with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation to create a slate of offerings that will ensure the renovated park is active and inviting for all.
With this project, the Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation looked to set a new standard of excellence for public space in Philadelphia, allowing the park to reach its true potential as a cultural asset, regional destination and economic driver.
LOVE Park (officially known as J.F.K. Plaza) was built in 1964 as a gateway to Fairmount Park and to mark the terminus of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a one mile diagonal boulevard that connects Philadelphia’s central business district with a collection of cultural and educational institutions. LOVE Park was an internationally-known skateboarding destination in the late 20th century and has also been the site of numerous protests and demonstrations.
Today, the area surrounding the Park – Center City – is the largest place of employment in the city and region, with over 300,000 jobs. LOVE Park is a renowned gathering place and social destination for Center City residents and workers. Positioned between City Hall and The Parkway, and adjacent to the Suburban Station transit hub, the park is also an important stopping place for tourists. Countless photos are taken each year under Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture by visitors from across the country and around the world, making the park a top destination in the city.
Prompted by necessary repairs to the parking garage below the park, in early 2016 the City of Philadelphia undertook a redesign and renovation of LOVE Park. Led by the Conservancy, an extensive community engagement process was undertaken to ensure the park was redesigned by and for the citizens of Philadelphia.