This article recapping some of the best aspects of Love Park, as well as some interesting facts, is presented by the Center City personal injury lawyers at Laffey, Bucci & Kent.
Officially opened in Spring of 2018, the redesigned Love Park provides critical green space, well-designed seating and pathways, and public restrooms to the residents not only of Center City but the entire County of Philadelphia.
Bacon & King’s Vision
Former Philadelphia city planner Edmund Bacon and architect Vincent G. Kling planned and designed the original Love Park which came to be in 1965. First serving as the cover of an underground parking garage, the main attraction of the park became its fountain, which was added four years after opening.
The LOVE sculpture
The sculpture commonly known as “the LOVE statue,” first placed in Philadelphia’s John F. Kennedy Plaza for the 1976 Bicentennial, was not the only sculpture of its kind. In fact, by the twenty-first century, it was not even the only sculpture of its type in Philadelphia. Yet LOVE, by the now-deceased Robert Indiana, came to be loved by Philadelphians and the city’s promoters as a distinctive icon for the aptly nicknamed City of Brotherly Love.
The aluminum LOVE sculpture placed at Fifteenth and JFK Boulevard near City Hall, featured the colors red, green, and purple. Indiana loaned the work to Philadelphia for the Bicentennial, a year also marked by the installation of Clothespin by another leading Pop artist, Claes Oldenburg, one block away at Fifteenth and Market Streets.
LOVE, alas, proved to be fleeting. When the artist’s dealer asked for the sculpture to return to New York for a potential buyer in 1978, a public outcry ensued. City officials, who admitted to having no knowledge of the art market, had declined to pay the $45,000 asking price to keep LOVE in the park.
Ultimately the price came down to $35,000, paid as a donation by Fitz Eugene Dixon Jr., the legendary owner of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team and chairman of the Philadelphia Art Commission.
The Park gets a Face-lift
Today, the area surrounding the Park 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 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 moved ahead with 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.
With this project, the Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation aimed 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.
Laffey, Bucci & Kent’s Center City personal injury lawyers visit Love park regularly, given its status as a true Philly landmark. They themselves have become a landmark of victim’s rights, so if you’ve suffered any kind of personal injury, trust that they will fight for every bit of compensation to help you and your loved ones be made whole once more.