This article [via BoingBoing] about Kevin Bacon’s dad protesting the closing of Love park in Philly to skateboarding kicks ass. As the designer of the place, I think it’s great Ed Bacon recognizes how it has been used and sees value in allowing it to continue. Skateboarding is a healthy activity that gives teens something to do, and shouldn’t be discouraged. With towns all over the country building free public skateparks, I was surprised to hear that Philly decided to stop allowing skating there a while back.
Love park is in the top five all-time best places to skate. It’s up there with Burnside in Oregon, the Brooklyn Banks, and the Nude Bowl (RIP). The Love park has been completely digitized and used in hit video games and been the site of the x games street skate competitions for the past two years.
I’ve had this conversation with a lot of people in the past, but I’m convinced that the benefits of giving kids (and adults) something creative to do, and a place to do it far outweighs the drawbacks of waxed curbs, grinded handrails, and kids hanging around a park. What some people might call urban graffiti (scraped paint on a rail, chipped tiles on a ledge) I call at worst, an “acceptable nuisance” whose drawbacks are merely cosmetic. It’s great to hear an architect support unintended uses of his design, and encourage it to continue.