Philadelphia's Lost Waterfront
Public Art on Delaware Ave (Columbus Boulevard)
Stop here, and look to your right. These are the remnants of the Riverwalk public art project, which celebrated Philadelphia's central role in America's maritime growth. The art installation was created in 1990. It was paid for under Philadelphia's "one percent" fine arts program, in which one percent of a project's construction costs must be dedicated to public art.
A section still standing resembles a ship hull and serves as an observation deck. You can see gargoyle heads popping out of portholes and nautical images in the ground. Also, at one time, there were huge mermaids atop horses.
But in 2002, much of the Riverwalk was eliminated when Columbus Boulevard was widened to enable better parking. Only the tail portions of the horses still exist, merely sticking up out of the ground and making no sense without the front part... I want my mermaids and horses back!
When you're ready, keep walking along Columbus Blvd., keeping the river on your right.