ART MUSEUM-FAIRMOUNT

The Art Museum neighborhood, often referred to as Fairmount, is an area generally associated with the area along the Ben Franklin Parkway from Eakins Oval/Fairmount Hill to  Logan Circle/Square. The area sometimes is extended northwest to include sites such as Boathouse Row and Eastern State Penitentiary, and southeast along the Parkway to Love Park and City Hall.  The broadest definition of the boundaries of the neighborhood place it roughly between Vine Street to the south, Girard Avenue to the north, the Schuylkill River to the west, and Broad Street to the east. This definition places the neighborhood in Lower North Philadelphia, encompassing the neighborhoods of Spring Garden, Franklintown, and Francisville. Some definitions also include the area of Girard College which lies north of Girard Avenue. Based upon the famous Champs-Élysées in Paris in its design and owing to its ability to hold vast amounts of people, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is famous for its museums including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Academy of Natural Sciences, the Rodin Museum, the Franklin Institute, the main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Barnes Foundation.  It is also where most of Philadelphia’s large outdoor events, parades, concerts, and races are held.

The name "Fairmount" itself derives from the prominent hill on which the Philadelphia Museum of Art now sits, and where William Penn originally intended to build his own manor house. Later, the name was applied to the street originally called Hickory Lane that runs from the foot of Fairmount hill through the heart of the neighborhood. Behind the Philadelphia Museum and along the Schuylkill River are the historic Fairmount Water Works and picturesque Boat House Row. These 10 boathouses and rowing clubs host several regattas each year. Kelly Drive parallels the river and winds through scenic Fairmount Park. Atop one of the bluffs overlooking the river is the historic Lemon Hill Mansion.

The neighborhood’s Fairmount Avenue contains many diverse restaurants, bars and shops. Fairmount Avenue is the dividing line between Fairmount and the Spring Garden neighborhoods. Spring Garden has many large houses built for the managers of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, other professionals, and brewery owners which date back to the 1840s. Green Street is particularly impressive and recalls the area’s past and proud industrial legacy. An old brewery with its many ancillary buildings has been painstakingly preserved and turned into fashionable condominiums. Of architectural note is Aspen Street’s “Centennial Block”.