Love note #70: The FDR skatepark: a gem underneath I-95 (Hilary Malson)

Hilary Malson
Favorite Spot: FDR Skatepark
Neighborhood: Bottom of South Philly

Address: Broad and Pattison, under 95

I am: pedestrian, photo blogger, DC native. Currently doing community development work in Mt. Airy.
Years in Philly: 5 in the area, 1 in city limits
Current home: Just moved from West Philly to South Philly

My love note: The thing you’ve gotta recognize about FDR Skatepark is that it’s iconic and celebrated around the world, but it’s also widely unknown even here in Philadelphia. I don’t remember how I first found out about FDR, but a little over a month after moving to the Main Line for college I took the R5 into town, transferred to the Broad Street Line, got off at Pattison and descended into the park (the skatepark is just one section of the expansive and gorgeous FDR Park). You’ll find the skatepark past the Lakes and the ball fields, nestled underneath 95.


I don’t actually skate, so someone who does and knows the place in that way will appreciate the park for entirely different reasons, but there’s no better place than FDR if you love watching people skate. It’s is an organic effort that has grown over time, with a dedicated community of skaters and friends that uses salvaged materials to regularly maintain and build new bowls and ramps. Up on the east rim of the skatepark is a wide ledge, perfect for watching the skaters against a stunning backdrop of the skyline. FDR is loud. It’s friendly. The art always changes. Sometimes there’s a band, and if you wait long enough the ice cream truck will come by.


Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in South Philly 1 Comment

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