fairmount park waterworks

by Kenny H November. 03, 2013 4407 views

In the late 1700s, beneath this grand architecture houses what used to be Philadelphia's Fairmount Park Waterworks that provided pumped river water from the Schuylkill River to all parts of the city and state of Pennsylvania. It was thought that yellow fever was waterborne and city officials drew up plans for this facility to stem the tide, and come up with good filtered water for all.
Committee members eventually chose Frederick Graff to build a waterworks on the eastern bank of the Schuylkill. Graff's initial use of steam engines to lift water from the river eventually gave way to waterwheels in July 1822. Powered by the river, pumps raised water into reservoirs high atop a nearby hill, Faire Mount. By 1872, even more efficient water-driven Jonval turbines replaced the waterwheels.
Already an aesthetic triumph, the Water Works became one of the most profitable and prestigious businesses in the City when it adopted water power. The Engine House that had housed the steam engines was remodeled in 1835 as a restaurant for the thousands of international visitors to the site.
Part of these grounds now house a free museum and visitors center where most of the original wheelworks and pipes and other artifacts and interactive exhibits are on display. You can also watch a very informative video of the history of the waterworks inside, during the tour. One of the largest buildings on the site is now and upscale restaurant.
On this particular day the weather was great. I saw at least three different bridal parties having their photos taken.

Marble statues were created depicting mermaids holding giant waterwheels, some with the mythical god , Poseidon.

Water from the river flowed directly beneath the facility through waterwheels and eventually water pumps to be distributed all over the township through a series of wooden pipes, some of which are in sections on display inside the museum.

This gazebo overlooking the Schuylkill River is a one of three that has been used for many a photo op. Some that I've seen were roller skating clubs, cheerleader squads, and of course - bridal parties.

One of the images of Poseidon leading to the entrance of the waterworks.

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There are 9 comments , add yours!
Pete 7 years, 6 months ago

love the golden hour. great light and set

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
Gonia 7 years, 6 months ago

I like 2nd one the most.

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
Don Baird 7 years, 6 months ago

Great shots.

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
Sreekumar Marar 7 years, 6 months ago

Great images and informative text!

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
Nancycola 7 years, 6 months ago

Fascinating...thanks for sharing!

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
G B 7 years, 6 months ago

loving that second shot! but all are lovely!

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
Agnes Felber 7 years, 6 months ago

What a glorious sunlight you found for this interesting and informative post, Ken!

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
Tomie Poodle 7 years, 6 months ago

The colors are stunning!
Informations are interesting, thanks.

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 7 years, 6 months ago

Very grand!

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
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