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editor's note:
FDR Skatepark

* Outdoor: 'Crete [covered!]
* Free
* Vert / Trannie / Street
* Rating: "eF-Dee-arR-gnar!"

Popularized by Bam's "CKY" series, Transworld covers/articles, and more recently by ESPN's little skatepark tour, FDR has had its share of legend and lore. While we've never tested the waters ourselves, thanks to the folks at home, we're able to give y'all an increasingly thorough peek at the East Coast's most infamous renegade skatepark.

When we say "renegade," we mean that the locals built this park themselves [seen Burnside???], with token funding from the city here and there. And while they don't technically own the land [the city does], it's still basically their park. That makes for an entirely different scene than a city/private park.

"This is the kind of place where you need to take your time studying lines and watching others workin' it. 'Hyperawareness' is the operative word for mutual survival. Lots of burly locals around here, capable of delivering all kinds of free dental work on interloping bmx'ers and fruitbooters. Act humble. I'd have needed a week of practice before I could work it like some of the locals I watched last Friday."

- Bill Helene: Oct '01

Renegade parks are typically open to outsiders [to a point], but have very little patience for out-of-town coolios, etc. You might try and argue, but the guys that built this place [Jimmy Young, Carlos Biaza, and ???] *do* have more of a right to it than you do, and if they're a little protective or territorial, good for them!!! If you show up, make sure you're sporting your proper respects - there's blood, sweat and tears in those walls.

"Some advice about FDR from a Philly local: 1.) It's a little bit more dangerous to go there w/ either attitude or a bike than it is at Burnside. I've never actually seen a beating there, but the heckling is relentless and extremely hard to ignore. 2.) It's not for beginners. If you don't know how to skate, don't waste your time there. You'll only get bored and angry and heckled. 3.) Don't ever call it 'Phillyside' [Pro Skater bullshit term]. We're not a Burnside copycat and I've seen people get roughed up for calling it that."

- Brad Aviles: July '01

" Hey lets give the shout out to Bryan Karl Lanthorp, chairman to FDR in Philly PA, for getting the big write up in Transworld [May '01?] - Bryan is the chairman of the park. That's right, kids, he has a job AND he still contributes to the park. 'Contribution' means that you actually give back to the society that you call your own. Sorry if this yanks a few chains, but people need to get involved!"

- John Luna: Nov '00 and Mar '01

Directions: "Take I-95 to Philadelphia. Get off exit 14 [Broad St. and Pattison Ave]. Stay in the left lane past Corestates Center and turn left at the first intersection onto Pattison Ave. Pass FDR Park on your left and turn left at the first light in the FDR Park. Follow drive around underneath I-95. There you are."

- Ashley Jenkins: Jan '01

...scroll down for pics

[ click pix to enlarge ]

^ "Aside from scarfing cheese steaks
at Pat's or Geno's [9th & Passyunk],
this is all a skater needs to have a
complete Philly experience." Gut-shot
at FDR! [Words/Photo: Bill Helene]

^ Aumsville-style spine, part of the new
construction in 2000
[Photo: Bill Helene]

^ "The 'crete is sweet,
not too bumpy - but my
guess is that a slightly
softer wheel is the right
choice for this surface."
[Words/Photo: Bill Helene]

^ "There are two new
bowls at the back of
the park that set
the whole thing off"
- John Luna: Nov '00
[Photo: Bill Helene]

^ "The deep end, with
real pool coping."
Here's another view,
for the curious
[Photo: Bill Helene...
2nd view is Sam Willis]

^ Sam Willis - pillar
nollie [Submitted by

^ "My buddy Craig was
quick to point out
that I was wearing
more safety gear
than the rest of the
skaters at this place
combined." [Words/Photo
Bill Helene]

^ A vintage submission
to this SK8parkLIST,
popper off the original
pyramid [Photo: Don Balick]

^ "The big 'get some'
sign is white washed
now. I know, because
I know the guy who
painted it and painted
over it" - John Luna
[Photo: Bill Helene]

^ Here's a screen grab
from that Pro Skater
game of the "get some"

^ Sam Willis tearing
thru the trannie
[Submitted by Sam]

[ click pix to enlarge ]

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