Interview: Kevin Bacon Loves Planning, Parks And Philadelphia

By Michael Cerio

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We all know that Kevin Bacon “loves the arts in Philadelphia,” but did you know he also loves the parks?

“Parks are really in a lot of ways, a big saving element of urban living and something that really keeps our sanity” Kevin thoughtfully explains from his Los Angeles home. “I lived and grew up in Philly, and lived in cities my whole life, and I don’t know what I would do without parks.”

Bacon along with his brother Michael will play a benefit concert for the Viaduct Rail Park with their band The Bacon Brothers on Thursday February 4th at Union Transfer. In collaboration with The Center City District, Friends Of The Rail Park hope to convert a stretch of abandoned rail in the city into an elevated park connecting sections of Philadelphia in a beautiful green kind of way – just the way he likes it.

The idea of improving and beautifying a city runs deep in the Bacon bloodline. Kevin’s father Ed Bacon served as the Executive Director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and helped create the city as it stands today. “He adored Philadelphia. The streets, and the walkways, and the parks, and the buildings in Philadelphia were really what coursed through his veins, and the thing that filled his thoughts” remembers Kevin. “It was an obsession of his.”

“You can’t grow up with that sort of stuff being around and him talking about it without kind of picking some of that up. As a result I really do, I love cities and I love to see them change in shape” he says. “The main idea that he had was that people need to experience the city together and out in it.”

The Bacon imprint is forever felt on the streets of Philadelphia. From Independence Mall to the Parkway to Love Park, all with Ed Bacon intimately involved.

“Part of his association with Love Park was that it became, like it or not, a Mecca for skaters – and it was not built in any way, shape, or form as a skateboard park” explains Kevin. “They wanted to shut skateboarding down in the park, and my father, he so adores to see things being used for whatever that he became a great supporter of skateboarding in that park.”

“Actually when he was about ninety-two or something like that, [he] went out and tried to get arrested by skateboarding. He put a helmet on and some elbow pads and they put him on a skateboard, and somebody kind of held him up and rolled him around in the park” Bacon laughs. “Much to his chagrin they didn’t actually arrest him, but he did get some screen time from that, and as a result skateboarders all over the country will come to me and say, ‘Is your day Ed Bacon? Wow, he’s such a hero to us.'”

Kevin and The Bacon Brothers will lend their hand to try to build another great chapter for Philadelphia parks with their show this Thursday. You can find more information on The Rail Park here, and listen to the full interview with Kevin Bacon below.

 

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