text: seven walking tours through historic Philadelphia

Swann Fountain (Logan Circle)

Ben Franklin Parkway 07 Ben Franklin Parkway 05

Logan Circle is one of Penn's original five squares (Northwest Square), and it, too, was once used as a burying ground. In 1821 the ground was being used as a pasture — difficult to imagine today — and on February 7, 1823, William Gross was hanged here — the last public execution held on the spot. Whether William was also buried in the square we don't know. In 1825 it was renamed for James Logan and 17 years later it was a punishable offense to take a cow, horse, cart wagon or carriage into the square. Eventually the graves, mounds and hillocks were removed or leveled. And now it is one of the most beautiful spots in the city. The square has become a circle, the Swann Memorial Fountain by Alexander Stirling Calder, a graceful aerial water ballet, the flower beds among the most brilliant in Philadelphia. It is a medallion in the parkway's necklace of gems.

Benjamin Franklin Parkway