Fairmount Philadelphia

VAMONDE Philadelphia
Written By VAMONDE Philadelphia


Fairmount is a neighborhood is northwest of Old City Philadelphia and borders the Schuylkill River. The neighborhood is further subdivided into different areas including Spring Garden, Franklintown and Francisville. Fairmount is also referred to as the "Art Museum Area," for its proximity to and association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The name "Fairmount" derives from the prominent hill on which the Philadelphia Museum of Art now sits and where William Penn intended to build his manor house. Later, the name was given to the street originally called Hickory Lane that runs from the foot of Fairmount Hill through the heart of the neighborhood.


Fairmount began as a township where farmers settled outside of the city of Philadelphia. During the Revolutionary War, it was used as a strategic position by the British who wanted to protect their capture of Philadelphia. There was increased growth after the revolution with homes, waterworks and other development popping up in the area. In the 1850s, this area officially became part of the city of Philadelphia. Fairmount became the home of the large homes of prominent Philadelphia residents including Girard, as well as other professionals.

Current Neighborhood

Fairmount is near the Philadelphia Museum of Art and its famous “Rocky Steps". Fairmount is located near the “Museum District” since most of the city’s cultural attractions and museums are located along this throughway. The district includes museums such as the Rodin Museum, Philadelphia’s Central Library, the Franklin Institute of Science, the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Barnes Museum.

Eastern State Penitentiary located on Fairmount Avenue has become another main draw for the neighborhood. You can take a tour of this historic prison which was built in 1829. It is also annually converted into a haunted house during the Halloween and is part of Philadelphia’s Bastille Day celebration, due to its resemblance to the structure in Paris.

Information sourced from Wikipedia. Cover image by ExNihilo01 and sourced from Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0 license)

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