Love Park Groundbreaking

February 11, 2016

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the Turner team managing the redevelopment of Philadelphia’s iconic Love Park—officially known as JFK Plaza—and other project team members gathered to celebrate the start of the project with a groundbreaking ceremony.

“You don’t get many opportunities to work on a project as highly visible as this one,” said Kevin Cooke, vice president and general manager of Turner’s Special Projects Division in Philadelphia. “In a lot of ways this park represents the heart of Philadelphia and we are truly excited to breathe new life into it.” 

The 50-year-old park gets its name from Robert Indiana’s now-ubiquitous LOVE sculpture. Set against the picturesque backdrop of a large fountain, which is often dyed to mark special events or occasions, the sculpture has been the site of countless photos and selfies by visitors and locals alike. In addition to being a destination for camera-wielding tourists and romantics of all stripes, the park—largely hardscaped—is considered hallowed ground by the international skateboarding community, though skateboarding has been banned there since 1995. 

Following the project, visitors will notice significantly more green and accessible space, as the abundant hardscapes will be replaced with grass and rain gardens. The fountain will also be refreshed, and a more modern design with an LED-lit splash pad will form the new backdrop for the LOVE sculpture.

In a surprise announcement at the groundbreaking ceremony, new Mayor Jim Kenney invited residents to enjoy the park’s original design before the transformation, declaring that the skateboarding ban would be lifted until February 15. “Come back for one more spin,” he said.

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