• Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.
      Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.

Paine's Park will open May 22

The shape of Paine's Park, the city's new skate-centric public space, is coming clearly into view after six months of construction. Since October crews have worked to create the park on the slope between Eakins Oval and the Schuylkill River Trail. And on Wednesday, May 22 Paine's Park will officially open to the public.

Paine’s Park isn't so much a skatepark, but a shared public space where skateboarding is the primary use. In addition to skatable street furniture, there are seating areas and new links between the Parkway and Schuylkill River Trail. The park's designers, Anthony Bracali of Friday Architects/Planners and SkateNerd's Brian Nugent, aimed to replicate the kind of skating environment found in LOVE Park, featuring benches, walls, and rails. The difference is that grinding here won’t get you chased by the cops.

And while Paine’s Park may not replace LOVE Park or Dilworth Plaza in the hearts of some skaters, pieces of those spaces are part of the new park. Two 20-foot granite slabs salvaged from LOVE Park and eight benches from Dilworth Plaza were incorporated into the design.

Paine’s Park cost more than $4.5 million to build (financed through private, city, and state funds) and is a collaborative effort between the city's skateboarding community and government. Last month, Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund held a successful kickstarter campaign, which surpassed its $10,000 goal to cover the project's remaining soft costs.

“These funds raised will go towards our construction and project management costs, and the funds raised in excess of our goal will help us with our first year programming and maintenance costs,” explained Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund Executive Director Claire Laver in an email.

This project has been more than 10 years in the making, and Laver says it’s surreal to see the finish line.

“Every time I walk on site I have to pinch myself,” Laver said.  “The park is really starting to take shape now that the 360 degree observation deck and central amphitheater are almost complete, and we have flat work and trees going in now too.  I'm not yet sure what life after May 22nd looks like.”

If you want to experience Paine's Park first hand, everyone is welcome to explore (and skate) the new park on May 22 with a grand ribbon-cutting celebration planned for 4-6pm.

Here's a look at how Paine's Park looks as crews come ever-closer to finishing construction:

    • The southwestern edge of Paine's Park from the Schuylkill River Trail
      The southwestern edge of Paine's Park from the Schuylkill River Trail
    • Paine's Park from the Schuylkill River Trail
      Paine's Park from the Schuylkill River Trail
    • Concrete work in Paine's Park
      Concrete work in Paine's Park
    • Paine's Park will create new connections between the Parkway and Schuylkill River Trail.
      Paine's Park will create new connections between the Parkway and Schuylkill River Trail.
    • The observation deck will afford 360-degree views
      The observation deck will afford 360-degree views
    • Looking southward from the Parkway
      Looking southward from the Parkway
    • Paine's Park was designed with skateboarders in mind.
      Paine's Park was designed with skateboarders in mind.
    • Construction is nearly complete on Paine's Park
      Construction is nearly complete on Paine's Park
    • Paine's Park from the Parkway
      Paine's Park from the Parkway
    • Paine's Park will open May 22.
      Paine's Park will open May 22.
  • Previous
  • Next

About the author

Ashley Hahn, Editor, Eyes on the Street

Ashley writes and edits Eyes on the Street. She has a special interest in preservation, neighborhoods, and all things public – from policy to art. Ashley holds masters degrees in City and Regional Planning and Historic Preservation from PennDesign.

Ashley has lived in 12 zip codes that she can think of, including neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, New York and Philadelphia. She is proud to call 19147 home. 

Find Ashley on twitter @ashleyjhahn.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Logging in via Facebook

Log in

Subscribe to the PlanPhilly Mailing List