May 06, 2015

An Enduring Symbol of Optimism at LOVE Park

An early rendering of the LOVE Park Welcome Center, designed by Roy Larson of Harbeson, Hough, Livingston & Larson in the late 1950s, conveys the spirit of the original building, guiding development of KieranTimberlake's renovation strategy.
Image courtesy Fairmount Park Archives

A recent public meeting on the new design for LOVE Park included the announcement by Philadelphia's Parks & Recreation department, Hargreaves Associates, and KieranTimberlake that the renovated park will retain the iconic Welcome Center beloved by many Philadelphians.  
The round, mid-century modern building was designed in the late 1950s and was a symbol of optimism in post-war Philadelphia as many American urban centers went into a long period of decline. Its continuing popularity among the public was revealed during Penn Praxis-led civic engagement efforts that preceded design work for LOVE Park.

Updates to the building will focus on realizing its original ambitions—including its values of openness and transparency and its significance as a forward-looking building that functions as a beacon when illuminated at night.  
The building will achieve what was not yet possible in the 1950s and 60s through new glazing that brings energy efficiency to the structure as well as greater transparency and uninterrupted views of the park through frameless glass. New lighting technology, full ADA accessibility, a green roof, and other changes will help improve upon the original design. The addition of a food and beverage program will bring increased use and activity, offering a unique venue to view the new park and the city beyond. 

Read more about the LOVE Park renovations