Station no. 6 - Celebration of Water - Philadelphia, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 57.898 W 075° 10.998
18S E 484345 N 4423884
Quick Description: Hidden far away from the beaten path of the Fairmount Water Works high above is this beautiful sculpture of a fisherman overlooking the Schuylkill River. Seldom visited or even known, it is a treasure that wait to be explored.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 8/13/2013 10:51:35 AM
Waymark Code: WMHTMD
Views: 14

Long Description:

There is a wonderful story that goes with this sculpture which lends itself to the commitment and love the people of Fairmount Park and the water Works have for this jewel. I found a very cool press release from 2004 about the recover of this once lost sculpture:

After a messy battle with Hurricane Floyd and almost three years of searching the cast metal fisherman again sits atop a rock overlooking the waters of the Schuylkill. The sculpture that had sat by the Schuylkill River for so many years lost its balance in 1999 when a 60-foot tree knocked it into the river. Please join the Philadelphia Water Department in celebrating the return of the fisherman on September 12th, 2004 at 1 p.m. For almost three years the beloved fisherman, belonging to the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, was lost under the waters of the Schuylkill. Now this cast metal exhibit is intact on his trusty rock a few feet from the Schuylkill River. With the help of the former company, Gorca Technologies, a diver found him injured only 30 feet from his original resting-place. SOURCE

Naturally, I had to risk life and limb to sit by this Sit-By-Me Statue. The fisherman is precariously located at water level on a bunch of rocks, which descend into the water well below the path that takes visitors to this site. I climbed down very slowly, sat next to the fisherman, put my arm around him, extended out my arm with the camera and took a pic. It came out sweet! The boat of visitors taking the tour of the Schuylkill and the Water Works eyed me suspiciously mixed with a little curiosity as they passed me, wondering why I was perched on a boulder man handling this defenseless man. Because the statue faces the water (west) the only way to really see it straight on is to be in the water. Officially, the sculpture is located on the Schuylkill Banks between the Waterworks and the Spring Garden Bridge at the foot of the spiral staircase. Free, 2-hour maximum parking is available @ N 39° 58.077 W 75° 11.054, which is almost due north (346°), .21 miles away from this site. I was awarded a $26 ticket as I stayed over the time limit; they do keep track. I visited this site on Saturday, August 10, 2013 @ 2:20 PM, EDT & at the incredible altitude of 0 feet, right at sea level! (very cool) As always, I used my trusty and oft abused Canon PowerShot 14.1 Megapixel, SX210 IS digital camera for the photos.

The statue is bronze but has a well-developed patina. The sculpture was commissioned in 1988 and then dedicated in 1989. The statue is considered a part of the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, located above this site. In order to find this statue, one must climb down an iron, spiral staircase which descends from the South Garden above. I actually used an alternative location, walking down a ramp to the left of the Water Works Restaurant and Lounge.

There were a number of artisans employed to create this sculpture. The fisherman was sculpted by Ellen Fletcher and was completed at the New Arts Foundry. For some reason an architect and his firm was employed for this endeavor as well, that being the Walmsley & Company Architectural Firm with Anthony Walmsley (architect) at the helm. As a rule, I always look for additional stamps or markings to learn about other companies or artists who were involved with the production of a sculpture or any other work of art upon which I stumble. A close examination revealed a stamp for Northwest Territory accompanied by a design above the company's name. After an exhaustive search, I could not find out who or what this is but can only surmise it might be foundry-related.

The fisherman is approximately 60 inches x 30 inches x 29 inches sitting on the natural rock base upon which I scrambled for purchase. The rock is approximately 15 inches³. There is also a tackle box behind the fisherman which is just a standard sized tackle box. Naturally, I used a tape measure to check the dimensions, which I found to be 14¼ inches in length, x 8½ inches in width and with a height of 7¾ inches. I'll leave it to the SIRIS experts to give a description: This sculptural installation consists of a fisherman seated on a rock at the edge of the water, and a nearby path embedded with twenty-six rectangular plaques depicting different types of fish. The figure of the fisherman is installed on a natural rock at the edge of the river. With his proper right hand he holds his fishing rod out over the river. His tackle box rests behind him on the rock. SOURCE Unfortunately, this fishing rod is gone and the man is just grasping at air.

Terrain Rating:

Photo Required: yes

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