FDR Skatepark began its life in 1996 with a few small obstacles built by the City of Philadelphia in an attempt to meet the needs of a growing community. In true D-I-Y fashion, local skaters soon gathered their resources and began the ongoing construction of a space of their own design. As the world s largest D-I-Y skateboard park, today FDR is recognized throughout the world as a landmark in the skateboarding community.
Skateboarding had found a special place in Philadelphia, Love Park. Kids young and old traveled from around the world to skate its pristine ledges and infamous fountain gap. And while the struggling skateboard community embraced the park, the city felt otherwise. To "clean up" downtown Philly the city hired security at Love Park and slapped some concrete under an I-95 overpass in Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park some five miles outside of town, calling it a skatepark for the youth. Although laughed at by locals at first, after some serious DIY renovation FDR skatepark was really born.
No doubt inspired by the godfather of DIY skateparks, Portland's Burnside, FDR is seven years its junior, but larger and constantly growing. Regardless of age or size, FDR is internationally known as being both an extremely difficult place to skate and a generally sketchy place to hang out. Through 170 pages of archival imagery by 25 contributors and brief interviews with longstanding locals a sense of this righteous and raucous attitude is captured.