LOVE Park Redesign Kicks Off With Groundbreaking, LOVE Sculpture Move And More

Exciting updates on the LOVE Park redesign: a temporary location for the LOVE sculpture, an open-skate weekend and more...

This year, Philadelphia’s iconic John F. Kennedy Plaza — better known as LOVE Park — will receive some much-needed love, care and 21st-century upgrades.

After years of comprehensive planning, today Mayor Jim Kenney was joined by City Council President Darrell Clarke and City officials to officially break ground on the overhaul of LOVE Park and its Welcome Center.

Fast Facts

  • LOVE Park will be closed to the public for renovations starting February 16.
  • To ensure public access, Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture will temporarily relocate to Dilworth Park as of February 23.
  • The LOVE Park skateboarding ban has been lifted until February 15, so skaters can hit the park all Valentine’s Day/Presidents’ Day weekend.

Beginning this spring, the public space will be under construction for approximately a year to bring the grand redesign plans to fruition.

Rendering of the new LOVE Park Welcome Center. (Image courtesy KieranTimberlake)
The City of Philadelphia has officially broken ground on a $16.5-million redesign of Center City’s LOVE Park.

JFK Plaza/LOVE Park To Close For Year-Long Renovation Project

A key destination for tourists and locals alike, John F. Kennedy Plaza was originally constructed in 1965 and gets its nickname, LOVE Park, due to its famous Robert Indiana sculpture, which serves as a visual gateway to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Center City.

Aimed at making the civic space more accessible and usable, the redesign — conceived in partnership between Hargreaves Associates and KieranTimberlake — includes adding green space, structural improvements, installing a new water feature, creating concession areas and opening up access to the park.

The park will officially close for construction after Monday, February 15 and remain closed for approximately one year. LOVE Park is scheduled to reopen next spring.

Rendering of LOVE Park from 15th Street and JFK Boulevard. (Image courtesy Hargreaves Associates)
To ensure access during LOVE Park’s renovation, Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture will be temporarily installed at Dilworth Park.

LOVE Sculpture To Move To Dilworth Park February 23

Of course, Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture will remain the heart of the park post renovation, but during the construction process the iconic sculpture will find a temporary home just across the street.

In conjunction with the City’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy and Center City District, Robert Indiana’s LOVE is scheduled to move on Tuesday, February 23 to Dilworth Park.

Thanks to a top team of conservators and riggers, the sculpture will be moved from park to park safely and quickly between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and will be followed by a LOVE welcome event on Wednesday, February 24.

Note, too, that Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture will be restored and reinstalled in the same location at LOVE Park when it re-opens next year.

Rendering of LOVE Park from 16th and Arch streets. (Image courtesy Hargreaves Associates)
The highly anticipated project will supply the public park with green space, a new water feature, concessions and much more.

LOVE Park Open To Skateboarders Through Monday, February 15

One of the key legacies of LOVE Park is its place within Philly’s awesome skateboarding community and, this weekend, skaters get some love in the way of a temporary lift on the “no skateboarding” ban at LOVE Park.

In recognition of LOVE Park’s skating history, Mayor Jim Kenney invited all skateboarders to come to LOVE Park and ollie away until it is closed after February 15.

What’s more, the granite from the LOVE Park will be donated to the Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund to be repurposed and installed in new skateparks across the city.

While we’ll miss the park while it’s closed for renovation, we’re pretty sure the wait for Philadelphia’s next great public space will be well worth the wait.

More Info

Philadelphia Breaks Ground on $16.5 Million LOVE Park Renovation [nbcphiladelphia.com]

LOVE Park [visitphilly.com]

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