On May 22 from 4 to 6 p.m., the Philadelphia skating community will converge on brand new Paine's Park for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The park, which incorporates sustainable design elements while accommodating both pedestrians and skaters, is already garnering national attention as the first -- and largest -- open space in the country designed specifically for skateboarders.
Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund
Executive Director Claire Laver says the ceremony is particularly significant considering the project's long history.
"It's a momentous occasion," she says. "After nearly a decade of planning and fundraising, we’re finally opening the park."
The park cost $4.5 million to build; the money was raised through a variety of funding sources. To help with the finishing touches, the Fund launched a Kickstarter
campaign earlier this year, earning over $10,000.
The design also accommodates pedestrians and other uses; it features pedestrian seating areas, a 360-degree observation deck, an amphitheater for outdoor events, and connections to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Schuylkill Banks
. In a nod to other public spaces popular among skateboarders, the design incorporated reclaimed granite slabs from LOVE Park and eight benches from Dilworth Plaza.
A number of events are already lined up for the space. On Go Skateboarding Day
(June 21), the Zumiez Couch Tour
will swing through Paine’s Park as part of their nine-city tour; in October, the park will host the finale of the second annual Philly Cup Skateboard Series
: Claire Laver, Executive Director, Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund
: Greg Meckstroth