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May 28, 2024

Skaters are stoked that Sweden is bringing back the old LOVE Park

The city of Malmö used original blueprints and materials salvaged from Philly to re-create the beloved spot. It will open Saturday.

Recreation Skateboarding
LOVE Park Malmo Provided image/Skate Malmö

Malmö, Sweden will unveil a re-creation of the old LOVE Park with skaterboarders from Philadelphia this weekend. LOVE Malmö includes two trashcans, a lamppost and granite slabs from the original Philadelphia site.

When LOVE Park was renovated between 2016 and 2018, skaters mourned the loss of the ledges, steps and planters that made it the perfect place to shred. But the old skating destination is now getting a second life across the Atlantic in Sweden.

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The city of Malmö, located along the southern coast of the country, will open a re-created version of the park on Saturday. LOVE Malmö was constructed with granite slabs and ledges, a lamppost and two trash cans salvaged from the Philadelphia site and designed according to the original 1965 blueprints by Edmund Bacon and Vincent Kling. The project is the culmination of a years-long collaboration between the two cities, as well as Skate Philly and Bryggeriet, Malmö's skateboarding association.

According to the Swedish city's officials, skateboarders from Philadelphia have already arrived in Malmö to be the first to skate the reconstruction. 

The old LOVE Park was a beloved spot for skateboarders around the world, despite the city ban on skating there. It inspired photography books and even appeared in "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" — with the famous Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture altered to spell "THPS." 

Philly's redesign significantly flattened the space, removing the granite tiers and edges that appealed to skaters. Just before the city began construction on the new park in February 2016, Mayor Jim Kenney temporarily lifted the ban on skateboarding to give the community one last chance to grind.

LOVE Malmö will occupy a section of the city square, making it not quite a skatepark but "part of the Malmö streetscape," according to a release. Its opening weekend coincides with the arrival of a skateable sculpture by South Korean artist Koo Jeong A at the Malmö Konsthall art museum.

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