LOVE Park needs some TLC — and ideas for a makeover

 Philadelphians are invited to participate in the redesigning of LOVE Park. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Philadelphians are invited to participate in the redesigning of LOVE Park. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Do you love LOVE Park and its famous LOVE statue? Wish there were more trees and less concrete?  It’s time to share your thoughts as Philadelphia seeks public input for a park makeover.

There’s no doubt it’s time for a change, said Kathryn Ott Lovell, executive director of the nonprofit Fairmount Park Conservancy.

“Love Park needs some love,” she said. “It’s this iconic destination that has fallen into disrepair over the years.”

Lovell is excited to imagine the possibilities for the Love Park redesign.

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“We want the future design of the park to really be influenced by the thoughts of the people who use it and who love it,” she said.

Philadelphians can stop by LOVE Park Saturday to give their ideas for the park.

Lovell, who said the idea is to complement the activities already available at the nearby new Dilworth Park, said a lot of people want to see a similar transformation at LOVE Park.

PennPraxis Interim Director Bridget Keegan Barber is helping gather those suggestions.  

“We heard a lot of people would like to see more greenery, she said. “The fountain was — a lot of people love the water feature, a lot of people hate the water feature — so that was another thing.”

People have also requested that the park be made more accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.

At this point, she said, no idea is too extreme. But there is one absolute — the iconic Robert Indiana LOVE statue will stay.

“A lot of people were really, really taken by embracing the theme of ‘love’ in LOVE Park, and people are promoting a lot of really romantic ideas,” Barber said. “Which is something that really struck me and I got excited by.”

To give your two cents on the LOVE Park redesign, stop by the park Saturday or tweet your ideas with the hashtag #newlovepark.

In the fall, Penn Praxis will hold a series of public meetings to collect more suggestions from the community.

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