Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Date: July 28, 2003
Byline: Matt Suchodolski, Cinnaminson
Letter: Love Park can work for allI recently attended a panel discussion on the issue of skateboarding at LOVE Park that was sponsored by the newly formed Skateboard Advocacy Network. I came away with a sense that at some point the ban will be lifted; it is just a matter of when and how.
This forum was successful in that Edmund Bacon (of planning fame) and Daniel Keating (of construction/business fame) both participated.
While still pursuing the lifting of the ban, I think that the young adults that are involved need to sharpen their focus on the attributes that have made LOVE Park a success for skateboarding and a failure for the Street administration. They are:
Skateboarding is an international sport. On another level it is also an individual form of self expression that can be considered an art form.
LOVE Park is unique as a skatepark because it was not designed to be a skatepark. From a skateboarding standpoint, no other city in the world has yet to claim an architectural feature that even comes close to the experience of LOVE Park.
Permitting skating at LOVE Park will reduce the so-called damage that Center City business owners seem to be experiencing as skaters search for new places to skate.
Permitting skating at LOVE Park is a great accent at the base of the Ben Franklin Parkway (a blend of science and art).
When the ban is lifted, the physical elements that will need to be in place to ensure the safety of onlookers and the public will need to be carefully crafted. Out-of-the-box design concepts will be a must. Perhaps this is where Keating's professional skills as a builder can be utilized to their highest and best use.