LOVE Park was conceived while Edmund Bacon was still in college
Mr. Bacon, the city's most famous planner and “The Father of Modern Philadelphia,” was an architectural student at Cornell when he first included the idea of the urban park as part of his senior thesis. Edmund, by the way, is also the father to one of Philly’s favorite famous exports.
Technically, LOVE Park’s official name is John F. Kennedy Plaza
Construction of the park was completed in 1965, and on May 9, 1967, it was dedicated to Kennedy, which is noted in the plaza with a small brown plaque. The LOVE stuff comes a bit later.
The iconic LOVE statue first debuted in 1976
To celebrate the nation’s bicentennial, designer Robert Indiana lent the sculpture to the city, where it ended up sitting on a two-year extended loan until it was removed in 1978. After some uproar -- it’s Philly after all -- the statue made its way back as a permanent part of the plaza.
About the slanted O...
From a design standpoint, the negative space in the “O” is heavily italicized so that it draws your attention back to the V. Or, you could interpret it as Indiana understood it: that love isn’t perfect (he was divorced multiple times).
The LOVE statue is pretty tiny
Official dimensions put it at 6ft by 6ft by 3ft. For perspective, Philly’s other most famous statue, William Penn, is 27ft tall.