Landscape Restoration at Philadelphia's Fairmount Water Works

  • 20 Oct 2012
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, 640 Waterworks Drive Philadelphia Pennsylvania 19130


Registration is closed

The Fairmount Water Works, once a world-class tourist destination and marvel of engineering and design, had fallen into disrepair by the end of the 20th century after it closed as a pumping facility in 1909. What just a few decades ago was a dark and unsafe section of the city now teems with restaurant-goers, museum visitors, couples in love, joggers, bikers, tourists, and more.  Learn about the transformation and restoration of this historic landscape from Bill Menke, a landscape architect with more than thirty years experience with the site.  He will talk about the history of the site and the challenges and opportunities in restoring it during the first half of the morning, with a walking tour (rain or shine!) of the restored landscape to follow.

Some questions, in addition to those asked by attendees, that we'll endeavor to answer:
Why does the fisherman on the banks keep going missing?
Whose nose was lost in the South Garden?
Which structure had a thatched roof?
How does having a sewer seventy feet below the site affect the South Garden?

AIA credits may be available.
Please wear good walking shoes and dress for the weather.

Speaker Bio:

William Menke, RLA, CLARB, Principal Landscape Architect, Menke & Menke LLC
After receiving a BA in Psychology from Bates College,  William joined the Peace Corps in Venezuela, and later Model Cities in Springfield, MA. An intern there introduced him to landscape architecture, and after a year of non degree study at UMass, he entered the two year master’s program, graduating with the Certificate of Honor awarded by the ASLA for excellence in the study of landscape architecture.
Bill’s early landscape architectural jobs took him to New Canaan, CT, and then to a couple of landscape architectural firms in Philadelphia. At George Patton’s office, Bill first began work on the Fairmount Water Works, a project that was to evolve into many over more than 30 years, most with Menke & Menke, LLC. First was an adaptive reuse project with John Milner Associates. Most recent were the cliffs and south garden construction projects that received the Grand Jury Award from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. Bill has taught at the college level at UMass and The University of the Arts. He headed the ASLA’s PA-DE Chapter Historic Preservation Committee for many years and has widely lectured on historic landscape  preservation. He is Principal Landscape Architect with Menke & Menke, LLC, a landscape architectural and planning firm based in Swarthmore with wide ranging projects, some describedon