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The building of Fairmount Park Welcome Center, in 14 historic photos

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As LOVE Park delays its reopening, a look back at the saucer’s history

The Fairmount Park Welcome Center was built five years before LOVE Park.
Photos courtesy of the Office of City Representative, Phillyhistory.org

All it takes is one quick walk past the fenced-off LOVE Park to realize that it’s nowhere near ready to re-debut this spring, as originally anticipated.

As Billy Penn recently reported, the park’s reopening has been delayed to late September, due to the discovery of substructures at the site that the city “just sort of didn’t know existed.”

Those discoveries have delayed construction work on the $16.5 million project, which broke ground in February 2016. Hargreaves Associates and KieranTimberlake are behind the redesign, which will have an emphasis on green lawns, fountains, gardens, and light fixtures.

The midcentury modern Fairmount Park Welcome Center is also a part of the renovations, set to remain as a focal point of the park after preservationists rallied to save the structure from demolition.

The Fairmount Park Welcome Center was originally called the Hospitality Center when it debuted in 1960—five years before the actual LOVE Park. It was designed by Roy Larson of Harbeson, Hough, Livingston & Larson, with engineers Keast & Hood on hand to help construct the flying saucer-shaped building.

As we wait a few more extra months before the park and center’s re-opening, take a trip back in time with these vintage photos, which show the Philadelphia Hospitality Center while under construction in 1960.

The core of the Hospitality Center goes up.
City Hall can be seen in the background.
The completed lobby of the Hospitality Center.
The Hospitality Center upon its completion in 1960.
Mayor Dilworth and other dignitaries at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Hospitality Center.