antique prints, maps and watercolors

Julius Bien (Fairmount Waterworks, Early Boat Houses) Published Philadelphia, Jacob Kiehn, 1867. $1,200.00

click for detailed image Fairmount.jpg

"Fairmount. Published by J. Kiehn, 622 BN.25th Str. Philadelphia"

Scarce early view of the race and terraces of the Fairmount Waterworks. Between 1818 and 1822 the City of Philadelphia built a new waterworks on the Schuylkill River at the base of Fair Mount, to satisfy the growing city's demand for water. It was an engineering marvel with its distinctive Neoclassical buildings, gardens and gazebo and became one of Philadelphia's best known tourist attractions. Not only did the Waterworks provide clean drinking water, and pleasant leisure activity, the creation of the dam on the Schuylkill transformed the stretch of water into a quiet, smooth river which made it perfect for ice skating in the winter and rowing in the summer. With the City’s purchase of Lemon Hill Mansion in 1855, Fairmount Park was born. The City allowed boathouses to be built along the east side of the Schuylkill in the new public park. At the same time some of the rowing clubs sought to regulate the sport of rowing to prevent unscrupulous practices and fixed races and the “Schuylkill Navy” was founded which ultimately transformed the professional sport of rowing into an amateur sport, and Philadelphia, the center of the Rowing community in the United States.

This lithograph details the newly built terraces, the race and the pleasure paddle boats which plied the Schuylkill. Arguably the very earliest lithograph to detail Philadelphia’s boathouses.

Tinted chromolithograph.
15 ¼ x 21 inches sheet.
Clean impression with chips, repaired tears along outside edge. This print has been professionally deacidified.