Historian and author Tom Keels explores the history of FDR Park in this illustrated lecture.
Thursday, February 3, 2022
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Historian and author Tom Keels explores the history of FDR Park in this illustrated lecture. From colonial days on, South Philadelphia below current-day Oregon Avenue was known as “The Neck”, a remote area with a culture all its own. In the early 20th century, it became League Island Park, part of a grandiose development scheme called the South Philadelphia Improvements. The Olmsted Brothers, sons of renowned Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmsted, were hired to transform the swamps of South Philadelphia into a natural wonder. Shaped by their father’s romantic vision of landscape architecture, the Olmsted Brothers designed a picturesque park with curving roads and paths, curated views of the landscape, and a series of tidal lakes encompassing the remains of Hollander Creek. In 1926, the park hosted a world’s fair, the Sesquicentennial International Exposition, which led to dramatic changes bringing the landscape closer to what we know today.
After learning about the park’s past, we will get a window into its exciting future with Allison Schapker, Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Chief Projects Officer, who will discuss the Park Plan being launched to give FDR Park a new lease on life!
Following Tom and Allison‘s presentations, there will be an audience Q & A.