Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Philadelphia Water Works after its restoration

One of the most beautiful views in Philadelphia is of the Art Museum (of "Rocky" fame) overlooking the Schuylkill River, with the Water Works building, a product of the 19th century and a mainstay of the city's architecture, appearing underneath. This building has to be on any Philadelphian's bucket list, but though I am a resident of this area, finding it always eluded me, even though I have visited the neighboring Art Museum frequently. Finally, I righted this wrong by finding the correct traffic light on Kelly Drive, made my left turn (I had to act as if I wanted to overshoot the Art Museum completely), and found the parking lot that led to the back stairs to the Art Museum, various footpaths and the Water Works in view. Some time ago I had heard that the Water Works was in the process of being renovated, and when I finally arrived there, I saw that there were two parts to this restoration. One part of the complex had been converted into a restaurant, officially called the Water Works Restaurant and Lounge. Nearby is the second part of the restoration, a small museum called the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, which deals with the history of the structure and its role in supplying water to the city. In this area, you will often see bridal parties pose in front of the gazebo and other structures adjoining the river for pictures. Not far from there, you can also rent bicycles or walk toward the rowing club buildings on Boat House Row.