In its heyday, Elmwood Park in Southwest Philadelphia served as place for the area’s blue-collar workers to relax and, at times, rally.
By fall, the seven-acre park at 71st Street and Buist Avenue will be transformed into a place that pays tribute to the contributions of organized labor nationwide.
The city, the Friends of Elmwood Park and the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) have worked over the past decade to revitalize the park. Efforts will culminate on Oct. 1 with the dedication of The Labor Monument: Philadelphia Tribute to the American Worker, a permanent public artwork by Irish artist John Kindness.
“There is nothing like this, and we think this should be a national monument dedicated some day,” Cathy Brady, neighborhood liaison, Friends of Elmwood Park, said. “There are many, many things that pay tribute to a person, to an event, but there is nothing in the country that speaks to the movement as a whole.”