Join us for a virtual tour of the Fairmount Water Works and “POOL: A Social History of Segregation” exhibition.
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 also meet some of the artists and designers behind this ambitious exhibition.
This webinar will be recorded for later viewing and will be shared out with registrants.
MORE ABOUT THE WATER WORKS
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.
TICKET PRICES: Registration is free.
Please consider a donation to the Fairmount Park Conservancy to support this and other important park programs. Visit: https://myphillypark.org/support/donate/
If Philadelphia’s parks make a difference in your life – consider becoming a member of Fairmount Park Conservancy and help ensure that Philadelphia’s parks are enhanced for generations to come. PLUS members register first for events and enjoy discounts on park experiences including Treetop Quest, Shofuso and more!