Greenland Benjamin Johnson, a Philadelphia bookseller, constructed Greenland sometime between 1810-1820 as his country farmhouse. The building was destroyed by fire in 1985.
Lilacs Named after the abundance of lilac bushes surrounding the house, the Lilacs is a farmhouse built in two sections. Morten Garret obtained 151 acres of land in 1711 and shortly after began constructing the south section of the farmhouse. The house sat beside the Old Ford Road that led to the Robin Hood Ford on the Schuylkill River. In 1832 the northern section was added to the original house. The Lilacs remained in the Garret family until it was purchased by the park in 1869. In 1888 it became the up-river boat house of the University Barge Club. Later, in the 1990s, the Lilacs became a half-way house for juveniles.
Chamounix - c. 1930
George Plumstead, a wealthy Philadelphia Quaker, acquired a tract of 27 acres in 1802. Shortly after he built a two and a half story brick and rubble stone Federal style house upon a bluff overlooking the Schuylkill River. Originally known as the Plumstead Estate, the mansion’s official name change appeared in an 1830’s fire insurance policy as “Chamouni”. Between 1853 and 1856, the house was altered to it’s present configuration. The Fairmount Park Commission acquired Chamounix Mansion and its out buildings in 1871. The mansion and its Gothic style stable, the only remaining out building, now serve as a youth hostel operated by Hostelling International.
John Boelson House In 1677, the Swedish Court at Upland granted to John Boelson 100 acres of land on the west side of the Schuylkill River upon which he built his house. This small cottage exemplifies the architectural features common to early Dutch and Swedish vernacular architecture of the American colonies. Constructed sometime between 1678 and 1684, the cottage remains as the oldest structure within Fairmount Park. It is currently the office of the Friends of Philadelphia Parks.
Spring Garden Street Bridge
Boelson Cottage today
22 • Trail Master Plan for Fairmount (East/West) Park
This is the site of the 1813 Upper Ferry Bridge, one of three colonial river crossings leading west to Chester and Lancaster counties. Also known as Lewis Wernwag’s “Colossus” Bridge, it was later the site of the Ellett Suspension Bridge of 1842. Upon demolition of the Suspension Bridge in 1874, the Callowhill-Fairmount Bridge, a new bridge with a double-deck was constructed. Currently, a steel girder box bridge built in 1966 occupies this site.