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Fairmount Park

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Title: Fairmount Park  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: National Register of Historic Places listings in North Philadelphia, National Register of Historic Places listings in Northwest Philadelphia, List of National Historic Landmarks in Philadelphia, National Register of Historic Places listings in West Philadelphia, The Cliffs
Collection: 1812 Establishments in the United States, Centennial Exposition, Colonial Revival Architecture in Pennsylvania, Fairmount Park, Federal Architecture in Pennsylvania, Georgian Architecture in Pennsylvania, Historic Districts in Pennsylvania, Municipal Parks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, National Register of Historic Places in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Parks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Works Progress Administration in Pennsylvania, World's Fair Sites in the United States
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Fairmount Park

Fairmount Park is the municipal park system of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It consists of 63 parks, with 9,200 acres (3,700 ha), all overseen by the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, successor to the Fairmount Park Commission in 2010. Fairmount Park is one of the largest urban park systems in the United States.


  • Fairmount Park proper 1
  • Growth 2
  • Properties 3
    • Public art 3.1
    • Houses 3.2
  • Neighborhood and regional parks 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Fairmount Park proper

Fairmount Park
Fairmount Park.
Fairmount Park is located in Pennsylvania
Location Both banks of Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek, from Spring Garden St. to Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Area 4,100 acres (1,700 ha)
Built 1812
Architect Robert Morris Copeland; Olmsted & Vaux et al.
Architectural style Colonial Revival, Georgian, Federal
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 72001151[1]
Added to NRHP February 07, 1972

The park system is named after its first park, Fairmount Park, which occupies nearly half the area of the whole system, at over 4,100 acres (1,700 ha). Today, the commission divides the original park into East and West Fairmount parks. The original domain of Fairmount Park consisted of three areas: "South Park" or the South Garden immediately below the Fairmount Water Works extending to the Callowhill Street Bridge; "Old Park" which encompassed the former estates of Lemon Hill and Sedgeley; and West Park, the area now comprising the Philadelphia Zoo and the Centennial Exposition grounds. The South Garden predated the establishment of the Park Commission in 1867 and Lemon Hill and Sedgeley were added in 1855–56. After the Civil War, work progressed on acquiring and laying out West Park. In the 1870s, the Fairmount Park Commission expropriated properties along the Wissahickon Creek to extend Fairmount Park proper. The Schuylkill River Trail is a modern addition and was not included in 19th-century acquisitions.


Fairmount Park, ca. 1900

The park grew out of the Lemon Hill estate of Henry Pratt, whose land was originally owned by Robert Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Purchased by the city in 1844, the estate was dedicated to the public by city council's ordinance on September 15, 1855. A series of state and local legislative acts over the next three years increased the holdings of the city. In 1858, the city held a design competition to relandscape Lemon Hill and Sedgeley for public use as the best way to “protect and improve the purity of the Schuylkill water supply."

Cresheim Creek in Fairmount Park.

As the site of the 1876 Centennial Exposition and the first zoo in the United States, the Philadelphia Zoo, Fairmount Park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 7, 1972.


Today, the system includes the Centennial Arboretum, Philadelphia's Horticulture Center, Fairmount Water Works, Memorial Hall, home to the Please Touch Museum, the Belmont Plateau, Japanese House and Garden, Bartram's Garden (America’s oldest living botanical garden), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Boathouse Row, Azalea Garden, recreation centers, reservoirs, and countless statues (as well as other pieces of art) as determined by the park.

Public art

One of the Florentine lions.

Fairmount Park is home to a large collection of public art, largely due to the efforts of the

  • Fairmount Park Commission, City of Philadelphia
  • Map of the Fairmount Park System
  • Works Progress Administration, Topographical map of Fairmount Park, 1938
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Please Touch Museum, located in Memorial Hall
  • Fairmount Park Art Association
  • Public Art in Philadelphia
  • Fairmount Park Conservancy
  • Article: Cherry Tree Maintenance at Fairmount Park

External links

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ Richman, M: “Sculpture of a City”, page 54. Walker Publishing Co., 1974.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Salisbury.S: “Can’t miss this art” a 17½-ton sculpture is installed on the Parkway”, The Philadelphia Inquirer. June 23, 2007.
  5. ^ "Mount Pleasant.".  
  6. ^  


See also

The 63 neighborhood and regional parks are:

Neighborhood and regional parks

Belmont Plateau, with Center City in the distance
Map of Fairmount Park Commission properties.

Other houses in the park include William Peters's Belmont Mansion (1745), Hatfield House, Randolph House, Joshua Fisher's The Cliffs (1753), Historic Strawberry Mansion, The Monastery, and the Woodford mansion.

Mount Pleasant, built in what was then the countryside outside of the city by a privateer,[5] is now an off-premises gallery of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Fairmount Park.[6]


[4].Benjamin Franklin Parkway on the Philadelphia Museum of Art near the Mark di Suvero by Iroquois The Art Association continues to commission and care for a large number of sculptures, in coordination with the park and city. In 2007, the Art Association installed [3] installed in 1887.Florentine Lions including the [2]

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