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June 21, 2024

East Passyunk's Singing Fountain is back on display after being restored

The neighborhood fixture received a new drainage system, fresh paint and new tiles as part of a $30,000 project.

Neighborhoods Fountains
Singing Fountain Passyunk Provided Image/Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corp.

The Singing Fountain in East Passyunk underwent a $30,000 repair project that included new tiles, fresh paint and a new drainage system.

East Passyunk's Singing Fountain has resumed operations after a four-week long restoration project. 

The repair work to the Singing Fountain is part of a larger project that will expand the plaza that surrounds it at located between 11th Street and East Passyunk Avenue. 

MORE: Philly is under a heat health emergency — here's what that means

The fountain was built in 2004 and previously renovated in 2011, said Alex Balloon, director of the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corp. The latest restoration project, completed by the Heritage Conservation Collective, included replacing 220 tiles and regrouting the fountain's lower half, anchoring granite slabs, sealing holes and installing a new drainage system. PARC also repainted the fountain and added signs instructing passersby not to climb into the water. 

"Over time the fountain weathered and so tiles began to de-attach, and they were missing," Balloon said Thursday. "So, when you walked up to the fountain, it looked a little bit weathered, to say the least. So this project was necessary to restore it. "

PARC delayed the renovations to avoid disrupting the Flavors of the Avenue festival in late April. When they began last month, a fence was placed around the fountain. Many people were concerned that the fountain would be permanently closed, Balloon said. 

"People were really worried. But I'd say that the reaction that I've seen from our residents, and our customers, businesses, visitors, has been universally positive," Balloon said. "With the heat warning in effect, people, I think, are very appreciative of having the water back on and being able to sit near the fountain."

The $30,000 restoration project was funded by WSFS Cares, Balloon said. But a larger, $1 million project has been proposed to expand the plaza and add more seating. Balloon said PARC has sought grant funding from the state, and expects to hear back in September. At that time, the group will decide how to proceed.

"We want to make Passyunk Avenue the pedestrian capital of Philadelphia, a great place to walk, great place to spend time, a great place to shop, and the Singing Fountain is at the heart of all of that," Balloon said.