FDR – A True DIY Skatepark
FDR is the East Coast cement park. It has been made by the people for the people and has raw burly feel to it. Unlike other private parks FDR Skatepark was mostly built by volunteer labor. Even the material used in the construction came through a lot of donations.
The park has two pyramids; a small four sided pyramid and a big steep five sided pyramid. The park also has an array of bumps, wall rides, hips, grindable bricks and pool coping.
The park saw major construction changes years by years. The new edition gave endless speed lines through out the park. Two bowls connected with a spine are also made – one square one round, and a whip.
Next to the cement park is a steel coated vert ramp that is very fast and has a lot of vert, for the vert dogs.
This South Philadelphia’s skatepark is a concrete, skateboard ‘paradise’. Primarily because it is designed by skateboard enthusiasts – and even today most of its construction undertakings are handled by local skateboarding community. Even its maintenance is entirely handled by skateboarders at the park. The paradise owners have built their paradise their way and handle it in their own style.
Skating Graffiti You Will Never See in other Skateparks in Philly
There are more than a dozen skateparks in Philly because the locals just love the sport more than anything else. FDR is a leader to all. Grays Ferry Crescent Skatepark is good for kids – Paine’s Park has a small portion dedicated to skating – and FDR is an all in one full of skating graffiti.
The whole park is covered in graffiti-adorned concrete. You will find American flags, famous skateboarders, slang lines painted in red and black.
Last time we checked one of the walls had a huge Bam Margera on it. He was painted sitting with local philly skateboarders! Don’t know whether the mural is still present or replaced.
Of all all Skateparks in Philly – this one stands out – primarily because of its vast use of colorful skating graffiti and secondly because it is an all season park.
An Overpass Skatepark
You can visit the park even on rainy days. Although open to sky – it is protected from water and snow. The walls and the highway overpass gives it a lot of canopy.
Owing to its popularity FDR skatepark has been featured in many skateboard games. Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground has a full version of the park and mostly the graphics do justice.
Back when Gravity Games were very popular – FDR skatepark hosted the event in 2005. Gravity Games gathered all the famous action sports on one land and platform. But recently we have not come across any news about the event.
In 2005 – FDR management got a lot of positive acclamation from the participants and the audience as well.
The Famous Bam Margera Skatepark
FDR Skatepark is one of the most fun skate parks we have ever skated. Even on odd days you will find Willy Akers and Chuck Treece skateboarding along. We once were lucky enough to get a skateboard autographed by Bam Margera.
Other than the games – youtube is full of FDR videos. Below we have linked video links in which Bam Margera is seen skateboarding (shredding) at the park.
If you are anywhere near Philly get off at the Sports complex exit of I-95.
FDR Skatepark Location
The skatepark is not called Philly Burnside or Philside it is called FDR. Across the street from the F.U. center Philly’s new Spectrum (ROCKY), Under a I-95 overpass.
You can also get down at the Pattison Avenue stop of the Broad Street subway line. The park is located just at the right.
Follow the map below to reach out.
Oh yeah I forgot, watch out for the pigeons they have a game with each other and try to s#@! on skaters.
A $200 million renovation at the FDR Park?
In 2019 a major plan was passed to recreate the park and water proof it from the urban waters. The park floods frequently because mostly it lies on marshlands.
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department declared 200 million dollars to keep the famous historical park dry.
The proposal landed the Philly skateboarding community in a jiffy. The local news is that the FDR Built by skateboarders park does not want to get involved in the recreation.
Good news is that the Parks and Recreation officials confirmed that this corner of the FDR park – (where the skatepark) lies is not included in the plan. It is affecting the rest of the garden area and the river walks.
For Now – the FDR Skatepark is Not Going Anywhere
Local Skatepark with DIY Ramps and DIY Rails
FDR skatepark is solely run and administered by the skaters. They manage the funds by donations collected from the skaters and skateboarding enthusiasts all around the world.
And this is one of the reasons they stand tall among other skateparks and are growing at a great pace. ESPN describes FDR skateparks construction and management by the following words “built on the blood and sweat of their (skateboarders) hard work and no one gets through the front door by waving their checkbook around.”
The park has seen a lot of changes in the last decade. In 2006 a super finished 13′ castle bowl and in 2008 a peanut bowl was added. In 2012 a tight little bowl was further added and the adaptations and extensions keep on going and going. FDR is believed to be the largest DIY park in the world!
Currently they are funding for a “snake run that will start at the loop on the deck and go down behind the back bowls”.
Andrew Metzger who is associated with the confusion magazine organises the fundraiser program. We have linked the crowdfund page if you want to participate.