Ceremony Celebrates Comeback Of Catharine Thorn Fountain


A spray anew: the Catharine Thorn Fountain is on again | Photo: Rob Lybeck

A spray anew: the Catharine Thorn Fountain is on again | Photo: Rob Lybeck

While a neighborhood crowd of onlookers including State Representative Jordan Harris and candidate for City Controller Brett Mandel gathered in eager anticipation, the historic Catharine Thorn fountain at the 23rd & South/Grays Ferry triangle was officially turned on for the first time in years.

Originally a water trough in the late 1800’s for weary horses traveling up Grays Ferry Avenue (then a major roadway) from the south into the city, the fountain had in recent years fallen into periods of disrepair.

Thanks to efforts by the South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA) and a number of concerned community members, the fountain will flow freely with each new spring—and serve as an even better centerpiece for the annual Plazapalooza festival that brings live music and Grace Tavern’s liquid refreshments to the triangle.

About the author

Rob Lybeck is fascinated by Philadelphia's architecture and its embellishments. He endeavors to raise an awareness of the city's unique built environment through his photography. What began years ago as the chosen theme for a course assignment, has developed into a lifelong passionate pursuit: photographing the many diverse architectural styles and building details of the metropolitan area. His work can be seen here on flickr.


  1. Beautiful photo with lots of personality–great job Rob!

  2. Thanks for the article. We all had a great time on Saturday. Just a note that the Grays Ferry Triangles Committee is a joint effort of SOSNA, Center City Residents Assn (CCRA), South Street West Business Assn (SSWBA), and South of South Townwatch. Volunteers from all these organizations are working to improve the Triangles Area.

    Hope that everyone will join us for Plazapalooza on May 4!

  3. Great shot! Really captures the happiness that was happening. Wish I could have made it to the event. I had no idea what the fountain was originally for, THANK YOU for informing me! Makes me love this little center piece even more now.

    ..i love my city.

  4. I am so happy to see you in print. May many more opportunities come your way as you and your camera wend your way through the city capturing architectural gems.

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