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

Paths & Pavilions

 
 
Paths & Pavilions Interpretive image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 4, 2013
1. Paths & Pavilions Interpretive
Inscription. Beginning in the 1820s, a series of Cliffside paths were constructed above the Water Works. These path allowed visitors to climb up to the Reservoir. There they enjoyed fresh air and the views form the highest point near the city. They also marveled at the engineering and architectural works below them.

Pavilions placed throughout the site protected visitors form the elements, provided scenic overlooks and added architectural interest.

By 1870, the existing curvilinear path was installed, linking the Engine House and South Garden to the Mercury Pavilion, Rustic Pavilion, Distribution Arch, and Reservoir.
 
Erected by Fairmount Park Conservancy.
 
Location. 39° 57.931′ N, 75° 10.978′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker can be reached from Art Museum Drive, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. This interpretive located at the Rustic Pavilion at the southern end of the Water Works complex. You must climb a hill using a brick path if approaching from the bottom where the Water Works is located. If waking from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, walk over Art Museum Drive and the interpretive is 58 feet. straight ahead from the cross walk. Marker
Paths & Pavilions Interpretive image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 4, 2013
2. Paths & Pavilions Interpretive
is at or near this postal address: Fairmount Water Works, Rustic Pavilion, Philadelphia PA 19130, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fairmount Dam (about 700 feet away); Julian Francis Abele (approx. 0.2 miles away); Washington Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fairmount Water Works (approx. mile away); Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia (approx. 0.3 miles away); Eastern State Penitentiary (approx. half a mile away); Frank N. Piasecki (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
 
More about this marker.
A beautiful watermark of a color painting takes up the right side of the marker. Visitors in the 1830s strolled the Cliffside Paths above the recently completed South Garden, The Upper Ferry Bridge ("Colossus") is in the background.

An attributable quote can be found at the top left of the marker: "But interesting and curious as this machinery is, Fair Mount would not be so attractive had it not something else to offer. It is, in truth, one of the very prettiest spots the eye can look upon." Frances Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, London, 1832.

In the center
Paths & Pavilions Interpretive image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 4, 2013
3. Paths & Pavilions Interpretive
of the interpretive are two vintage pictures of the original pavilions, the Rustic Pavilion (left) which caption reads Rustic Pavilion circa 1874 Originally built of timber, branches and twig. Recreated in steel 2009 and the Mercury Pavilion (right) which caption reads A boy overlooks the Water Works near the Mercury Pavilion, to your right. c. 1870.

The bottom right corner feature an 1838 color view of the Mercury Pavilion held in an oval frame, which caption reads: 1838 view of the Mercury Pavilion, topped by a lattice-roof and William Rush's carving of the Roman god of commerce.

Image credits: Strolling Visitors, Collection of Adam Levine; Mercury Pavilion Painting, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Rustic Pavilion and Boy on Path photos, Fairmount Park Historical Resource Archive
 
Regarding Paths & Pavilions.
These Pavilions are gorgeous examples of the city's efforts to renovate and restore historical sites, ultimately culminating in increased tourism and revenue. In 2007, the city began in earnest to rehab and renew this entire site after securing federal and local funds. $23 million in restoration was earmarked for restoring this National Landmark to its original 19th century splendor. In the initial restoration phase of 2007, this landmark won the Grand Jury Award Preservation
Mercury Pavilion image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 4, 2013
4. Mercury Pavilion
Alliance for Greater Philadelphia for the Fairmount Water Works South Garden and Cliff Path leading to this interpretive.


The final phase of the project was no less significant or rewarding. This involved the restoration of the North and South Cliff Paths, the Rustic Pavilion and the Mercury Pavilion, all of which were completed in late 2008. Women for the Water Works, an initiative of the Fairmount Park Conservancy, raised the $5 million needed to underwrite the restoration of the South Gardens, fountains, Graff Memorial, Mercury Pavilion and Cliffside paths up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And so, In 2008, the Water Works won a Community Action Awards from the Junior League of Philadelphia and the Women. Just as in the 19th century, pavilions, paths, statuary, and a dazzling fountain again attract visitors to this National Historic Landmark.
 
Also see . . .
1. Rustic Pavilion Details. vintage & current pictures as well as rendering and drawings of the Rustic Pavilion (Submitted on August 9, 2013, by Eric Milask of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.) 

2. Mercury Pavilion Details. vintage & current pictures as well as rendering and drawings of the Mercury Pavilion (Submitted on August 9, 2013, by Eric Milask of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.) 

3. Pavilion Dedications. a press release on the final dedication ceremony of the pavilions, June 9, 2012 (Submitted on August 9, 2013, by Eric Milask of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.)
Rustic Pavilion image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 4, 2013
5. Rustic Pavilion
This is there the Paths & Pavilions interpretive is located.
 

4. Fairmount Park Conservancy Home Page. This is the website for the organization responsible for placing the interpretive series as well as the construction of the pavilions. (Submitted on August 9, 2013, by Eric Milask of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.) 

5. Fairmount Park Conservancy Press Release. an article describing the progress of the construction and renovation of the paths & pavilions (Submitted on August 9, 2013, by Eric Milask of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Man-Made Features
 
Rustic Pavilion image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 4, 2013
6. Rustic Pavilion
Not the new path leadnig to the pavilion.
Underneath the Rustic Pavilion image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 4, 2013
7. Underneath the Rustic Pavilion
Mercury Pavilion image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 4, 2013
8. Mercury Pavilion
The view looking west whilst under the pavilion.
Eagle Finial on Top of the Mercury Pavilion image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 4, 2013
9. Eagle Finial on Top of the Mercury Pavilion
Fairmount Water Works image. Click for full size.
By Eric Milask, August 4, 2013
10. Fairmount Water Works
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 9, 2013, by Eric Milask of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 248 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on August 9, 2013, by Eric Milask of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. • Al Wolf was the editor who published this page.
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