The Houses in Fairmount Park

Fairmount Park (City Tours 11 and 12)

Between 1937 and 1941, the Federal Writers' Project compiled information about 48 states and many of the cities and towns within them. The 1937 city guide to Philadelphia, part of that series, contains within its 500-plus pages, 27 pages of walking tours of Fairmount Park. The tours lead the visitor past public art works and many of the historic buildings with in the park. Click this icon to access an excerpt.

The city of Philadelphia created Fairmount Park in the late 19th and early 20th centuries through the acquisition--by purchase or donation--of large estates along the Schuylkill River. These tracts of property came with built structures: houses, barns, and outbuildings. While some of the buildings such as the Sedgeley Manor, designed by Latrobe, were demolished upon acquisition, most of them became assets of the city and over the century and a half since their acquisitions, they have been put to a variety of uses or lain empty. The choices made about these houses have led to vastly different outcomes. This exhibit looks at three houses which illustrate the effects of those decisions.

The Houses in Fairmount Park