Philadelphia skateboarders have slowly pieced together a skater’s paradise underneath the Interstate 95 overpass in Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park.
Located near Broad Street and Pattison Avenue, skaters gather at FDR Skate Park daily to shred in a realm that was created by the skaters, for the skaters, according to local skateboarder Carlos Baiza.
“Every year we try to add on a new piece to the park,” said Baiza. “In the older sections, the concrete is rough. But there’s smoother areas as well from sections that have been made in recent years. It’s always a work in progress down here.”
For the past 20 years, skaters have built FDR Skate Park from the ground up with the help of loyal skaters and hard work.
“I’ve been skating here since it opened 20 years ago,” said Jim Simmons, 52, a South Philly skater who claims he never really grew up. “If you can skate here, you can skate anywhere.”
Riders of all ages frequent the park, including Ben Pike, a sophomore at Penntreaty High School, who skipped school to shred.
“It’s a lot of fun having something like this so close to home,” Pike said. “I’ve been skating here as much as possible for the last three years.”
With the help of a tight-knit skater community and a love for the thrill of skateboarding, FDR Park will continue to shine from South Philly. Time will tell what the next generation of shredders will bring to the skate oasis tucked under the overpass.
– Text, images and video by Sarah DeSantis.