This hill, called "Faire Mount", once held a reservoir that fed Schuykill River water down through hollow logs to Philadelphia's homes and hydrants.
But years of pollution from coal mines, dairy farms and towns upstream made the water undrinkable. The city closed the reservoir in 1909.
Meanwhile, art lovers had been seeking a new home for the "Pennsylvania Museum", which had opened in Memorial Hall for the Centennial Exposition of 1876. By the early 1890s, the building had become outmoded and overcrowded. It was also too far from downtown.
The old reservoir caught their eye. In 1911, a team of architects - including several who had submitted proposals for the design of the Parkway - began plans for an art museum.
The Parkway opened in 1918; The Philadelphia Museum of art, in 1928. The new museum made a perfect endpoint for the grand boulevard.
First Museum Director, Fiske Kimball
Just 36 when hired, Fiske Kimball supervised the completion of the museum. Inspired by other museums, he acquired "period rooms" from around the world, including lavish interiors from England, France and the United States.
Kimball implemented programs and policies that made the museum accessible and enjoyable for the general public. He also convinced
patrons to donate money, and their art collections, even after the 1929 stock market crash.
Kimball led the Philadelphia Museum of Art until 1955.