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Built to honor assassinated American president John F. Kennedy, the JFK Plaza right at the heart of Philadelphia was once a favorite hangout place for skateboarders and is now a rejuvenating destination to wander and unwind. Conceptualized by Vincent Kling, it is situated directly across the iconic Philadelphia City Hall ? the tallest and most costly in the United States ? and serves as the eastern border of the massive Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The park is constructed on top of an underground parking facility and was initially bare and simple with benches, granite steps and a fountain.

The registered name of this public space is JFK Plaza; however, when a contemporary art piece called the ?Love Sculpture? created by Robert Indiana was installed in for the city?s 200th anniversary in 1976, JFK Plaza was playfully dubbed as Love Park and has been its more popular name ever since. The art piece was actually removed two years after it was installed, but Philadelphia residents rallied to bring it back and they succeeded.

JFK Plaza?s expansive granite surfaces with curves, steps and railings made it an ideal spot for skateboarding enthusiasts as the popularity of this street sport grew in the 1980s. Soon enough, JFK Plaza was crowded by skateboarders not just from Philadelphia, but from different parts of the United States. Love Park was chosen as the venue 2001-2002 X-Games where professional skateboarders gathered to compete and show their best tricks which gave the park another boost of popularity.

However, then Mayor John Street was not happy on how JFK Plaza was being used and ordered a renovation to virtually erase all elements that make it a good skateboarding site. The once spacious granite areas were replaced by wood and grass. Street committed to build a new skateboard facility, but completed his term in 2008 without delivering on what he promised.

Today, the JFK Plaza or Love Park is a popular destination among weary employees who work in offices nearby where they eat their lunch or just lounge on the greenery the park offers.
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