September 20, 2014 |
The Water Department, generally attentive to unusual drips and noisy leaks, has decided to let the waters flow. On Sunday, the city's most unlikely impresario continues its flirtation with the arts by staging a festival at the Fairmount Water Works, the neoclassical gem on the bank of the Schuylkill behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Often a subject of art, the Water Works in recent years also has hosted artists, serving as a venue for a...
December 13, 2013 |
It seems an unlikely place for a performance: three deep, concrete trenches, aqua- and ochre-streaked walls, a slightly ribbed, concrete ceiling. Ancient graffiti is scrawled along the trench walls - 1977, ZEP, ROO, MIK, JIM. Decayed paint is largely scraped away. A turbulent river roils just outside arched windows. Yet, this is the place, the old Kelly Pool beneath the historic Fairmount Water Works, unused and deteriorating since it was swamped by Hurricane Agnes in 1972, where one of the city's newest and least likely impresarios will present the world premiere of a cantata.
November 25, 2012
Beth Kephart is the author of 14 books, including "Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River" (Temple University Press) Of the two rivers that carry Philadelphia's dreams toward the sea, it is the Schuylkill that has always snagged a good chunk of my heart. It feels personal to me - the Schuylkill's roving through time, her baptisms and floods, her primeval sheen, her helpless submission to toxins and sludge, her muddy regrets and redemption. The river rises and falls.
November 23, 2012
ON SATURDAY, I found myself at the starting line of the 5th annual Philadelphia Tweed Ride at the Fairmount Water Works behind the Art Museum. The riders wore knickers, bowler hats and other throwbacks to the turn of the 20th century. Some had vintage bikes. From maxed mustaches to fur collars, their style was definitely ready to roll. Email: Bigrube@streetgazing.com " @BigRubeHarley Blog: streetgazing.com
November 12, 2010
The editorial on the city's proposed amphibious tour ramp on the Schuylkill correctly highlighted many of the advantages of allowing the Ducks on the Schuylkill, but your discussion of the drawbacks was ill-informed ("Quacky idea for boats," Sunday). The claim that "the boats could not be allowed back on the Delaware" is simply inaccurate. The U.S. Coast Guard long ago cleared our vessels to resume operations on the Delaware. We share the Coast Guard's confidence that our tour can be operated safely.
September 19, 2008 |
Even Ben Franklin, who often put up with a whole lot, could not stand the stench and filth of Dock Creek. Tanneries and slaughterhouses dotted the waterway, along what would become Walnut, Chestnut, Third, Fourth and Fifth Streets. Quite often, skins, dyes, and even the random hoof would float by homes and taverns, which added their waste to the stream. As early as the 1740s, what might be called the early Philadelphia environmentalists, including Franklin, started Philadelphia's initial sewer system, covering much of the creek as it meandered down to the docks, for which it was named, along the Delaware River.
July 9, 2006 |
It's been battered, flooded, graffitied and burned. It's been inundated with garbage and weed trees, suffered theft and vandalism, decay and collapse. Despite it all, like the city and the park it gave birth to, the Fairmount Water Works has survived, a wreath of possibility on the Schuylkill. Now, barring any more last-minute unexpected riptides, the neoclassical landmark stretching along the river below the Philadelphia Museum of Art will see its largest jewel - the 1812 Engine House - open within the next several days as a restaurant.
December 23, 2005 |
Delaware's two resident dinosaurs are having a two-day house party, filled with activities for young people. The prehistoric creatures reside at the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Wilmington, which is hosting Dino Days Tuesday and Wednesday. The idea, museum spokeswoman Joey Outten says, is to "celebrate the only dinosaurs in Delaware on permanent display. " The event, which was on hiatus last year while the museum was closed for renovations, features dino-themed crafts, a fossil dig, face-painting, educational talks about "weird prehistoric birds," and live animals such as raptors and reptiles from the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford.
November 23, 2005 |
The rain was falling and the weather was frigid when the tour boat passed under a decrepit bridge and past a giant refrigeration plant. So, a passenger asked the tour guide, just what was that low, yellow building off to the starboard side? "This is one of the few properties on the river that's zoned for prisons," said Louise Turan, executive director of the Schuylkill River Development Corp. But in keeping with her group's mission to celebrate and transform the river that's long been the ugly stepchild of Philadelphia waterways, Turan hastened to note that the building was not now a jail.
July 23, 2005 |
For the most part, the city Water Department is just happy with a relatively clean Schuylkill. But tomorrow, clean will be augmented by some New Age good vibes. At 1 p.m., the Fairmount Water Works, where the department's educational center is located, will serve as site for the "World Day of Love and Thanks to Water," an annual rite promoted by Masaru Emoto. A Japanese-based researcher and photographer, Emoto believes that concentrated thought and soothing words change the molecular structure of water.