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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Heart of the Parkway

 
 
The Heart of the Parkway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, September 2014
1. The Heart of the Parkway Marker
Inscription.
Swann Fountain sits halfway between City Hall and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was built to honor Dr. Wilson Cary Swann and is a focal point of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Swann was a 19th-century doctor who founded the Philadelphia Fountain Society because he believed that the city should have more public drinking fountains for people and troughs for animals.

The fountain was completed in 1924. Alexander Stirling Calder created its sculptures. The three central figures represent Philadelphia’s major waterways: the Delaware River, the Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek. Swann Fountain is also known as “The Fountain of the Three Rivers.”

These nearby rivers were important natural resources in the early days of the city. People used water from the rivers for drinking, bathing, and fighting fires. in fact, William Penn specifically close this spot for Philadelphia because of its location between the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers.

The Calder Family Legacy
You can find the works of three generations of Calders along the Parkway. Alexander Stirling Calder (seen above) created the Swann Fountain sculptures. His father, Alexander Milne Calder, sculpted William Penn and the other figures at City Hall.

At the other end of the Parkway, inside the Philadelphia Museum
Insert - Alexander Stirling Calder image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, September 2014
2. Insert - Alexander Stirling Calder
of Art, hangs the mobile “Ghost.” It was created by Stirling’s son, Alexander “Sandy” Calder.
 
Location. 39° 57.45′ N, 75° 10.233′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker can be reached from Logan Square. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Philadelphia PA 19103, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Meriwether Lewis (within shouting distance of this marker); Swann Memorial Fountain (within shouting distance of this marker); Pope John Paul II (within shouting distance of this marker); US Sanitary Commission Great Central Fair (within shouting distance of this marker); The City Plan of Philadelphia (within shouting distance of this marker); Sister Cities Park (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1914-1918 Tribute Trees (about 400 feet away); General Tadeusz Kosciuszko (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, Music
 
Insert - Constructing the fountain image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, September 2014
3. Insert - Constructing the fountain
Insert - The Swann Fountain swans image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, September 2014
4. Insert - The Swann Fountain swans
Swann Fountain image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, September 2014
5. Swann Fountain
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 14, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 12, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 36 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 12, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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