Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR) announced that for the first time ever it will be selling merchandise at the Christmas Village Information Hut at Love Park for the 2017 Holiday Season.
Shoppers will have the opportunity to purchase limited-edition collectibles created using materials sourced from the original landscape of Love Park beginning. Just 250 bricks were made for this pilot launch and they will retail for $50 each. Proceeds will directly benefit Philadelphia parks and programs.
“We are thrilled to offer these one-of-a-kind gifts just in time for the holiday season,” said Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “Anyone with an emotional attachment to the original Love Park will treasure owning one or more of these mementos. People traveled from around the world to walk through the park just before the renovation project began, and now you can buy a little piece of that Philadelphia history to enjoy in your own home.”
Using granite salvaged from the original Love Park, a limited number of 3×3 inch bricks were fashioned as commemorative keepsakes just in time to celebrate the opening of the new Love Park. Each brick features an engraved design similar to the famous sculpture, LOVE, by Robert Indiana, which will return to the park in early 2018. The iconic design is internationally recognized as a symbol of Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.
The original Love Park, designed by Edmund Bacon and Vincent Kling, was also itself an international icon in the history of skateboarding. During its redesign, SkatePhilly, working with PPR, was able to salvage 150,000 pounds of the original granite for use in future skateparks around the city.
Proceeds from the original Love Park granite keepsakes will directly benefit maintenance of existing city skateparks as well as future construction, and maintenance and programming of the new Love Park in partnership with Fairmount Park Conservancy. The City of Philadelphia and Fairmount ParkConservancy will host a grand re-opening celebration for the new Love Park in spring 2018.
“Fairmount Park Conservancy is working to attract investments in LovePark and to develop programs that get residents, businesses, and funders engaged with supporting this famous public space,” said Jamie Gauthier, Executive Director of Fairmount Park Conservancy. Gauthier said that the Conservancy expects to facilitate the establishment of a new “friends of the park” group and to help bring in events and amenities to make the space more comfortable and beautiful than ever.