City in a Park

A History of Philadelphia's Fairmount Park System

James McClelland and Lynn Miller
Book Cover

HC: $39.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1208-9
Publication: Dec 15

392 pages
8 x 10
158 color photos, 19 halftones

How Philadelphia’s early efforts at conservation led to the country’s greatest park system


Fairmount Park is the municipal park system of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It consists of more than one hundred parks, squares, and green spaces totaling about 11,000 acres, and is one of the largest landscaped urban park systems in the world. In City in a Park, James McClelland and Lynn Miller provide an affectionate and comprehensive history of this 200-year-old network of parks.

Originated in the nineteenth century as a civic effort to provide a clean water supply to Philadelphia, Fairmount Park also furnished public pleasure grounds for boat races and hiking, among other activities. Millions travel to the city to view its eighteenth-century villas, attend boat races on the Schuylkill River, hike the Wissahickon Creek, visit the Philadelphia Zoo, hear concerts in summer, stroll the city’s historic squares and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and enjoy its enormous collection of public art. Green initiatives flower today; Philadelphia lives amidst its parks.

Filled with nearly 150 gorgeous full-color photographs, City in a Park chronicles the continuing efforts to create what founder William Penn desired: a “greene countrie town.”

About the Author(s)

James McClelland is a freelance writer whose work focuses on the arts. He is Executive Director Emeritus of the Philadelphia Art Alliance and the author of The Martinos: A Legacy of Art, Fountains of Philadelphia: A Guide, and more than two hundred articles published in national magazines.

Lynn Miller is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Temple University. He is the author of, among other works, Global Order: Values and Power in International Politics and Crossing the Line (a novel) and the co-author (with Annette H. Emgarth) of French Philadelphia: The French Cultural and Historical Presence in the Delaware Valley.