Essay 2 - Fiore 1 Alex Fiore Professor White College...

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Fiore 1 Alex Fiore Professor White College Composition 25 March 2008 The City of Brotherly There are well over 80 community parks in Philadelphia, but the one that is most popular and internationally recognized is located on the west side of City Hall, where John F. Kennedy Boulevard meets 15 th Street. Officially named JFK Plaza for the street it runs on, this breathtaking tourist and local resident attraction is most popularly known by its nickname, LOVE Park. Yet, LOVE Park is not only attractive to tourists and romantic couples, but also very popular and appealing to local and professional skateboarders around the world. Despite its respected reputation, work had been done in recent years to ban skateboarding from the plaza due to former Mayor John Street’s opinion that skateboarders have taken over and damaged the beloved park. What doesn’t make sense with Street’s efforts is if LOVE Park is such an internationally respected place for skateboarding and is increasing tourism in Philadelphia, then why strip the park of what it is known for? Tourism is such a huge investment in major U.S. cities that taking away a tourist attraction can greatly decrease city revenue. Skateboarding at LOVE Park has not only increased tourism in the great city, but has also brought undergraduates to the Philadelphia area with the park in their backyard, allowed passionate skateboarders to express their passion at a perfect landscape, and offered sports market investment opportunities for both big and small businesses in the area.
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Fiore 2 The John F. Kennedy Plaza was designed by Vincent Kling and constructed in 1965. Originally the park was an idea of Edmund Bacon as a part of his undergraduate architecture thesis at Cornell University to build a park on the northwest block of City Hall to redirect traffic and break up the existing five-way intersection (UsHistory.com). However, it wasn’t until 1969 that the nickname “LOVE Park” was coined after Robert Indiana’s Love sculpture was installed by the Fairmount Park Commission in front a fountain overlooking the center of the park. Before becoming an attractive skateboarding venue, LOVE Park was the Center City stage for events ranging from rallies of antiwar protests to concerts of local string bands. Performances sponsored by the local Mummers’ String Band Association had been going at the same intersection since in the 1950s, before the JFK Plaza was constructed. Still, the concert tradition has continued every Tuesday summer night, at the same block, no matter what the setting looked like. An article from 1971 examines the impact the concerts have had on locals, quoting, former Philadelphia resident, Thomas Lederer, “I live for this. Every Tuesday night you’ll see me here” (‘Pop’). It was very
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Essay 2 - Fiore 1 Alex Fiore Professor White College...

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