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Review: Philadelphia's Iconic Love Park Gets a Major Makeover

Architecture Critic Inga Saffron gives a less-than-stellar review of the newly revealed revamp of Philadelphia's Love Park.
April 26, 2018, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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New park, same love?

The ceaseless need for "activation" dooms the project to redesign JFK Plaza (also known as LOVE Park) in Philadelphia, according to Inga Saffron.

The review comes by way of big news for the city of Philadelphia. "The park, part of a trio of  ’60s-era plazas encircling City Hall, has just reopened after a complex, two-year reconstruction aimed at stopping leaks into the city’s underground concourse network," explains Saffron, who also describes more details of the mechanics and ambitions of the project.

Saffron's expresses disappointment about the result of the project, however: "The new, 2.3-acre park is a featureless plateau, sloping diagonally from 15th and JFK Boulevard, down to the Parkway. Standing at that corner, you can take in the entire space with a single glance."

Saffron also absolves the renovation's designers of the project (Hargreaves Associates and KieranTimberlake) to a certain extent, in explaining the politics of the project. The city's political leadership wanted a "People's Park," and ended up with a new park "designed by committee."

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Published on Thursday, April 26, 2018 in The Philadelphia Inquirer
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