PHILADELPHIA – Today, the City issued the following statement about the future of the Frank Rizzo statue currently displayed on Thomas Paine Plaza in front of the Municipal Services Building:
“Earlier this year we initiated a call for ideas on the future of the Rizzo statue. We carefully reviewed and considered everyone’s viewpoints and we have come to the decision that the Rizzo statue will be moved to a different location,” said Michael DiBerardinis, Managing Director for the City. “This decision comes at a time when we have begun the preliminary stages of planning to re-envision Paine Plaza as a new type of inviting and engaging public space. We are working to plan and create a public space more in line with neighboring Dilworth Plaza and the soon-to-be unveiled Love Park.”
“We thank the citizens of Philadelphia for responding with such thoughtful ideas. The response was very helpful for us to identify a host of potential new locations. We plan to do our due diligence on these locations before announcing the new site, but the input helped shaped some of the options we’ll review,” said Kelly Lee, Chief Cultural Officer. “Our goal moving forward is to seamlessly relocate the statue to a new, more appropriate public location in the city.”
All Philadelphians were encouraged to submit their ideas to the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. A team of city officials, including leadership from the Mayor’s Office, the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE), the Managing Directors Office, the Law Department and the Department of Public Property, reviewed close to 4,000 submissions received between August 24 and September 15.
Next steps for the City will be conducting feasibility studies on potential new locations. Once a new site has been determined, as well as the resources and a timeline for the move, the City plans to submit a proposal to the Art Commission that simultaneously requests removal and relocation approval.
Officials estimate that it will take at minimum 6 months to prepare a complete proposal to the Art Commission, but also make clear that additional time may be needed depending on the site evaluation process. A timeline for renovations to Paine Plaza will be established during the City’s capital budget process, which begins in March.