Swann Memorial Fountain


Swann Memorial Fountain

The Swann Memorial Fountain is a fountain sculpture located in the center of Logan Square, encircled by Logan Circle, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

The fountain, by Alexander Stirling Calder designed with architect Wilson Eyre, memorializes Dr. Wilson Cary Swann, founder of the Philadelphia Fountain Society. The Society had been planning a memorial fountain in honor of its late president and founder. After agreeing that the fountain would become city property, the society was granted the site in the center of Logan Circle.

Adapting the tradition of “river god” sculpture, Calder created large Native American figures to symbolize the area's major streams, the Delaware, the Schuylkill, and the Wissahickon. The young girl leaning on her side against an agitated, water-spouting swan represents the Wissahickon Creek; the mature woman holding the neck of a swan stands for the Schuylkill River; and the male figure, reaching above his head to grasp his bow as a large pike sprays water over him, symbolizes the Delaware River. Sculpted frogs and turtles spout water toward the 50-foot (15 m) geyser in the center, though typically the geyser only spouts 25 ft (8 m). The use of swans is a pun on Dr. Swann's name. Eyre designed the basin and the interlacing water jets, including the central geyser.

During warm months, swimming in the fountain is a long-standing Philadelphia tradition. In the summer of 2006, the City of Philadelphia began enforcing a swimming ban with a near constant security presence. This presence will taper off and disappear completely by 2009.

Besides serving as the center of Logan Square, the Fountain also stands as the midpoint on the Ben Franklin Parkway, which includes also sculptures by two other generations of the Calder family. Stirling Calder's father, Alexander Milne Calder, designed the statue of William Penn atop the tower of City Hall at the southeast end, while, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the northwest end, the mobile "Ghosts" is by Alexander Calder, Stirling Calder's son. This led to a local wit referring to the three sculptures as "the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost."


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alexander Stirling Calder — (* 11. Januar 1870 in Philadelphia; † 7. Januar 1945 in New York City) war ein US amerikanischer Bildhauer. Inha …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander Stirling Calder — Infobox Artist bgcolour = #6495ED name = Alexander Stirling Calder imagesize = 300px caption = Swann Memorial Fountain, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania birthname = birthdate = birth date |1870|1|11| location = deathdate = death date and age… …   Wikipedia

  • Wilson Eyre — Infobox Architect name = Wilson Eyre, Jr. nationality = American birth date = 1859 birth place = Florence, Italy death date = 1944 death place = Philadelphia, PA practice name = significant buildings = University of Pennsylvania Museum Swann… …   Wikipedia

  • Academy of Natural Sciences — Infobox Museum |name = The Academy of Natural Sciences | |imagesize = 280 |latitude = 39.9570 |longitude = 75.1714 |established = 1812 |location = Philadelphia |type = Natural History Museum |director = William Yancey Brown |collection = 17+… …   Wikipedia

  • Wissahickon Creek — Geobox River name = Wissahickon Creekcite web | url=Gnis3|1191626 | title=Wissahickon Creek | work=Geographic Names Information System | publisher=United States Geological Survey | accessdate=2008 08 16 ] native name = other name = other name1 =… …   Wikipedia

  • J. W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School — Infobox Secondary school name = John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School native name = motto = established = 1901 city = Philadelphia state = Pennsylvania province = country = USA campus = type = All Girls High School affiliation = Catholic… …   Wikipedia

  • 1920 in art — List of years in ArtEvents*The Cologne Dadaist group is formed by Jean Arp, Max Ernst and Alfred Grünwald. *Katherine Dreier, Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp form Société AnonymeWorks*Cecilia Beaux portrait of Georges Clemenceau *Pierre Bonnard… …   Wikipedia

  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia — Infobox Television show name = It s Always Sunny in Philadelphia caption = Season 1 2 DVD Box rated = format = Sitcom runtime = approx. 21 min. creator = Rob McElhenney developer = Rob McElhenney Glenn Howerton starring = Charlie Day Glenn… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander Stirling Calder — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Alexander Calder (homonymie). Swann Memorial Fountain, Philadelphie Alexander Stirling Calder (11 jan …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Всегда солнечно в Филадельфии — В Филадельфии всегда солнечно It s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Жанр ситком Автор идеи Роб МакЭлхенни В главных ролях Чарли Дэй Гленн Хоуэртон Роб МакЭлхенни Кейтлин Олсон Дэнни Девито Страна …   Википедия


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.