By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Nutter wants City Hall to make JFK Plaza more user friendly.
His administration proposes to spend $20 million over two years for design work and the renovation of the iconic park — known to most people as “Love Park” — that beckons both tourists and locals.
Deputy mayor Mike DiBerardinis says that with some investment, Love Park could become one of America’s most beautiful and best-used downtown spaces. He says it’s a natural extension — a “green connector” — between the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Dilworth Plaza, along the west apron of City Hall.
“When you look at all the work that is done and will be done along the Parkway and then the current work at Dilworth Plaza [see related story], it really calls on us to pay attention to Love Park,” he said.
DiBerardinis says it makes sense to remove the walls along two sides of Love Park which currently prevent public access, and bring the elevated park to street level.
But the “LOVE” sculpture, the fountain, and the circular building would be maintained.
The question of funding the project could come up during City Council deliberations (see related story). Councilman Bill Green expects some pushback from his fellow councilmembers.
“I think many Council people would (rather) see that $20 million of capital spending in commercial corridors in neighborhoods,” he told KYW Newsradio.