The north end of Schuylkill Banks is the home of the popular Paine’s Park. Paine’s Park is a new mixed-use public space, designed with skateboarding in mind, set along the banks of the Schuylkill River adjacent to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Since the project was first conceptualized in 2002, it has become a model for a new kind of dialogue between skateboarding, landscape architecture, and city planning, where space is designed to accommodate skateboarding as an important energizing force behind the life and movement of public space.
Paine’s Park will be one of the country’s next great skate plazas, and the keystone to Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund’s master plan for Philadelphia skateboarding. Yes, Paine’s Park will be a skatepark, but more accurately, it will be a public place for skateboarding. Skateparks are often designed exclusively for skaters, but a public place for skateboarding aims to welcome skateboarding into multi-purpose public space and celebrate this integration.
Designed by Anthony Bracali and Brian Nugent, Paine’s Park is not a replacement for LOVE Park. It is an evolution of the lessons about skateboarding in public space, the development of new ideas about recreation and public space in cities and towns around the world, and something new altogether: a beautiful public gathering point on a priceless site that welcomes skateboarding as its primary reason for being.
It has been the unprecedented commitment of the Philadelphia’s skateboarding community, City and State governments, neighborhood groups, and members of the architecture and design community, to rally for years to see this vision through from a sketch on a napkin in 2002 to having raised millions for the project with completed construction documents filed with the City of Philadelphia.