The Swann Memorial Fountain in Logan Square is a popular summer hangout spot for residents. Swimming isn’t actually allowed, but many kids do it anyway! It’s also a major tourist spot, close to hotels, restaurants, and the museums along Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
While it’s now a public wading pool, this fountain was originally built to honor someone who championed a different kind of public water feature.
Opened in July 1924, the fountain was built in memory of Dr. Wilson Cary Swann, founder of the Philadelphia Fountain Society, which campaigned to have more drinking water fountains installed across Philadelphia.
Swann believed that the lack of access to potable water led people to drink alcohol. “The suffering caused by the absence of water in our streets is beyond description,” he said in a speech to supporters in 1870.
The 124-foot, water-spewing sculpture is also known as the “Fountain of the Three Rivers.” It has three bronze Lenni Lenape human figures that represent the Delaware, Schuylkill, and Wissahickon Rivers.
On the fountain's first day in operation, nearly 10,000 spectators celebrated in the streets.