A River Runs Through It

A Webinar Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Fairmount Water Works

Thursday, May 12, 2022
12:00pm – 1:00pm

The Fairmount Water Works are one of Philadelphia’s most iconic sites, yet the least understood by locals. It’s even harder for out of towners to comprehend its significance when you tell them “you MUST visit our old municipal water processing facility. “ Yet an exploration of the space reveals a landmark that is a masterful marriage of classical form and innovative function. In its heyday, Fairmount water works certainly wasn’t a mystery to the average Philadelphian… or American for that matter. In the mid-19th century, it was a world famous tourist attraction— the most visited man-made attraction in America (only surpassed in numbers by a more natural “water feature”at Niagara Falls). Upon his visit in 1842, Charles Dickens called it “a place wondrous to behold.”

Join Water Works Executive Director Karen Young and education staff on a below-ground, behind-the-scenes tour to see the inner workings of the waterworks. We’ll also see the more modern amenities of the Interpretive Center, which includes classrooms and a fish laboratory.

We’ll also take a sneak peek at the recently opened multi-disciplinary art exhibition called
“POOL: A Social History of Segregation”, set in the former Kelly Natatorium in the lower level of the Water Works. The exhibition is an artistic and scholarly investigation into the role of public pools in America, with the goal of deepening the understanding and the connection between water, social justice and public health.

We’ll meet some of the artists and designers behind this ambitious exhibition.

Designed in 1812 by Frederick Graff and built between 1812 and 1872, it operated until 1909, winning praise for its design and becoming a popular tourist attraction. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976 for its architecture and its engineering innovations.

It now houses an interpretive center that explains the waterworks’ purpose and watershed history, managed by the Phila. Water Dept.

Here is the link to register for this event:


Northeast Philadelphia History Fair

Presented by the Friends of Northeast Philadelphia History

Saturday, April 30, 2022
10:00am to 3:00pm

Free admission, All are Welcome 

There will be over thirty presenters – local historical societies, historical organizations, museums, authors, and others – offering displays and a wide range of historical books, photos, maps, prints, and memorabilia.

And there will be two presentations:
11:00 AM –  Louis M. Iatarola & Amarynth Ruch of the Historical Society of Tacony will present “Disston Saw Works, Past & Present”

1:00 PM – John H. Hepp IV, Ph.D., Professor of History, Wilkes University, “You Can’t Get to Heaven on the Frankford El: A Centennial History of the Frankford Elevated” (in honor of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Frankford El in 1922).

The Oliver Evans Chapter will be hosting a table presenting information on our group and its activities. Press Manager Tom Brady will be offering our publications for sale.

Located at:
Cannstatter Volkfest Verein
9130 Academy Road, Philadelphia, PA 19114
(near the intersection of Frankford Avenue and Academy Road)

Wayne Junction Walking Tour

The Preservation Alliance For Greater Philadelphia

A Special Architecture Walking Tour

The Wayne Junction Historic District, bordering lower Germantown and upper Nicetown, was once a bustling Philadelphia industrial center known as “Workshop of the World.” In the later decades of the 1900s, Wayne Junction experienced disinvestment and decline as manufacturing moved elsewhere, leaving many of the buildings vacant and deteriorated. Join real estate developer and Preservation Alliance board member Ken Weinstein for a tour of the historic Wayne Junction area to get a closer look at his redevelopment projects while experiencing Philadelphia’s historical importance in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the hope and potential for Wayne Junction’s future.

The cost for the tour is $20 for Preservation Alliance members and $25 for non-members. 

Here is the link for more information and to register for the tour:

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