Friday, January 14, 2011

View from the Top!

With Fairmount Park covered in snow in January 2011, it is hard to imagine what it looked like in May 1876…135 years ago!

It’s fun to look at things from when you are way up high…here is some information on what Fairmount Park looked like back then.

There were two observatory towers at the Centennial—Sawyer’s and George’s Hill (pictured at the right). A series of images were taken from the top of George’s Hill. (Sawyer’s Observatory was located on the Belmont plateau.)

George’s Hill is an elevated tract of eighty-three acres of land that was gifted to Philadelphia by brother and sister, Jesse and Rebecca George in 1868.

The George’s Hill summit was the highest point in the city in 1876...210 feet above tidewater. Adjoining the hill was the Belmont reservoir—with a capacity of 36,000,000 gallons of water and can be seen on the Centennial model in the Centennial Explorations exhibit in the museum!

(Top Photo: View of Centennial Grounds from George's Hill-looking northeast with Memorial Hall in the distance. Bottom Photo: View of Centennial Grounds looking east-down Avenue of the Republic.)

All Images Courtesy of Robby Cohen Collection.

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