Love it or hate it, one of Philadelphia’s most famed parks celebrated its grand re-opening Wednesday.
Mayor Kenney, City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, and others marked LOVE Park’s return with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that also featured food, music, and more. Renovations to flatten the park — once known as a skateboarding hub — as well as add green space and a new water fountain began in February 2016.
— LOVE Park (@LOVEParkPhilly) May 30, 2018
It’s been a slow return for what is officially known as John F. Kennedy Plaza, which had delays during the $26 million renovation process. The LOVE statue by artist Robert Indiana, who recently died at the age of 89, was reinstalled in February after undergoing its own facelift.
Here’s a look at the new park and scenes from Wednesday’s reopening:
The conical fountain was turned on in LOVE Park as part of the dedication ceremony.
The festivities continued into the evening with a fund-raising event featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff hosted by Friends of LOVE Park.
“The new LOVE Park is a sanded-down version of the old LOVE Park, its rough edges removed and reduced to a generic, two-dimensional drawing,” Saffron wrote in April.
Social media users have also voiced complaints about the redesigned park.
What's wrong with the new love park? Hostile design. Wide open hardscape unshielded from the sun, spaces designed to prevent people from sitting down. Sterile, horrendous, tragic. @JonasMcivitas and I visited and I have the UX a review: F pic.twitter.com/R0x4w4WHb4
— Victoria (@108_Victoria_St) April 2, 2018
Sweet, Dillworth Plaza and Love Park are flat gray pieces of concrete now.
— Max Prime (@MaxPrimeMusic) April 27, 2018
There are more events in store for the park. The city is planning on a busy summer lineup, with concerts, table games, food trucks at the park, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell told the Inquirer and Daily News last month.