March 6, 2024/ / VIDEOS/ Comments: 3

You may have already seen it, but part of Love Park is moving to Sweden. Yes, the infamous Love Park, Philadelphia’s quintessential plaza that was popularized in the 90s and continues to be seen as a representation of street skateboardings most important era.

So how the hell did this come to be?

Well, in a mostly unheard of deal, at least for the typical skate fan, the city of Malmö worked with the city of Philadelphia to acquire a large quantity of the original Love Park granite, granite that has been sitting in an overgrown city storage lot since Love Park was dismantled in 2016.

While some pieces of Love Park have been used and repurposed already at other parks, like Kalis’ TF and the 7th Street Skatepark in Wilmington, Delaware, the stockpile of Love’s granite still had the potential to floor more projects.

This project has been in the works for some time now, originally talked about at Pushing Boarders, a conference held in Malmö in 2019. At the event, Filmmaker and Philly local Brian Panebianco was featured in a panel discussion with Skate Malmö’s Gustav Eden about the project.

Brian has such a respect and longing for the spot that before Love’s demolition he actually measured everything, like ledge heights and distances, just in case a replica was possible sometime in the future. While I’m sure Brian never envisioned his measurements would be used to recreate a piece of the plaza in Sweden, Brian eventually started talking with Gustav, who upon hearing of Love’s demolition, began working towards what we see coming to fruition now.

“When Love Park was being torn down, and we saw reports from Instagrams, the reactions were like ‘Ok, we’re losing the chance to experience this thing on your bucket list and engage in this heritage.’ All the potential future histories are being lost,” said Gustav. “I thought that, because I have a city of Malmö email title, if I contact the city of Philadelphia it will be very different than if a skater does it. I essentially cold called and asked what was happening with Love Park, asking if we could preserve some of it to save this potential experience for future generations.”

Through his cold call Gustav was able to set up a meeting with Bob Allen, a Philadelphia municipal worker, and between this, discussions with Brian and Skate Malmö’s support, Gustav now had a chance to ship the granite far across the ocean.

Just yesterday, the announcement was made public. While the shipping logistics alone are exceedingly daunting to think about, dedicated skate fans both locally and abroad have all chipped in to make this possible. From small details like light poles to detailed schematics of the original circle and probably a little bit of 90s era wax, a part of Love will make its official return late May or early June in the Swedish city’s downtown area.

It’s hard to understate the immense respect this project shows for Love and what it meant for skateboarding history, and while it’s surprising that the recreation is happening in Sweden, it is exciting to think a new generation will get the chance to skate the same ground that saw the likes of Josh Kalis and Stevie Williams in their prime.

Gustav summed it beautifully here, “Malmö has no claim to Love Park. No one except the Philadelphia skaters have claim to Love Park. It’s your heritage, you created it. This is about a homage to the cultural significance that you have achieved through skating Love and creating the space and iconography. The significance that has been massively important to us without even having been there.”

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  1. Some kind of swede

    March 6, 2024 4:55 pm

    Myka kul i kuckan fy fan!

  2. 1501 jfk

    March 10, 2024 6:52 pm

    Nobody hates skateboarding more than Philadelphia

  3. The King of Sweden

    March 22, 2024 4:51 am

    Ja haben winken dinken, dimpen durgen skateboarding!

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