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Eakins Oval, Philadelphia

(25+ reviews on the web)
Landmark Tourist Spot
Eakins Oval is a traffic circle in Philadelphia. It forms the northwest end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway just in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with a central array of fountains and monuments, and a network of pedestrian walkways.This loop of road usually carries a large volume of traffic, as it connects the core of the city with Fairmount Park, Kelly Drive (formerly East River Drive), and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive (formerly West River Drive). During parades and other major municipal events such as the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and large concerts such as Live 8 Philadelphia and the Budweiser Made in America Festival, the roadways are shut down to automobile traffic and the oval becomes center stage for the gathering.The oval was part of urban planner Jacques Gréber's design for the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which he proposed in 1917.The oval is named for Thomas Eakins, Philadelphian, world-famous realist painter, and fine arts educator.The southeastern part of the oval serves as a parking lot; it was originally part of the Parkway until traffic modifications isolated it in the 1960s.The Washington MonumentJust inside the northwest edge of Eakins Oval, in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs, stands the Washington Monument fountain. It was commissioned and designed by sculptor Rudolf Siemering. The sculpture was dedicated in 1897 at the Green Street entrance to Fairmount Park. It was moved in 1928 to its present location after construction on the parkway was completed. In 1997, work to restore the statue began under the direction of Margo Berg of the Philadelphia Art Commission. Over the years, the sculpture had come loose from its base, and the fountain had ceased to function properly. The restoration was completed in June of the same year, 100 years after it was dedicated.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • If you are driving to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you cannot miss going in the Eakins Oval. It is the traffic circle right in front of the museum. There are several fountains and monuments within ...  more »
  • Was at the Eakins Oval Beer Garden last night with my family. It was so much fun. Lots of stuff for young kids to do, great (but pricey) beer selection, and awesome food trucks. The only hard part is ...  more »
  • Beautiful place in the city. There are lots of fun activities, concerts, play area, kids and family friendly!  more »
Google
  • During the summer, they had a great pop up park here. Whenever that comes back, I recommend going. Lots of fun and games.
  • An iconic location in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, and at the beginning of the museum mile. During the spring and summer months, the fountain is on and it is a lovely place to sit and relax.
  • Always great events going on and you can't beat the views! Bring you kids, family and friends!
  • Summer is the best time to hang out on Eakin's Oval as they have organized activities every Wednesday through Sunday night. A different theme everyday but a pop-up beer garden each and everyone so how can you go wrong. Then, in front of the Art Museum, three fountains worth visiting with the keystone being the George Washington Monument in the center.
  • Awesome event spot with a great location between City Hall and the Art Museum.