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The History of Fairmount Water Works

This week's Art Museum District landmark feature is all about Fairmount Water Works.

Constructed between 1812 and 1815, the Fairmount Water Works quickly became a marvel for its technology and its unique Classical Revival exterior, attracting tourists from around the world.

Completed in 1822, Fairmount Dam cut diagonally across the river, channeled water into the Water Works and acted as a spillway. The Schuylkill is a tidal river, so it also prevented brackish water in the Delaware River from mixing with the fresh water. Above it, the dam created the “Schuylkill Pond,” several miles of tranquil water used for recreation.

The Fairmount Water Works eventually closed in 1909 when several new and technologically-updated facilities were built.

Make sure to check out the Water Works during your next summer stroll!

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