Love Your Park Week: From the Archives with Stephen Zook (Lemon Hill)

Editors Note: This week Philly Love Notes is teaming up with the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation in honor of Love Your Park Day, being held this Saturday, November 17th. We’ll be posting some of our favorite Fairmount Park Love Notes all week in celebration, and remember, if you’ve got some kind words to say about your favorite park, please send them along to

Stephen Zook
Favorite Spot: Lemon Hill
Neighborhood: Fairmount / Fairmount Park
Address: Lemon Hill Drive

I am: A twenty-something transplant who lives and works in Philly.
Years in Philly: 6
Current Home: Fairmount


My love note: You’re ambling down Kelly Drive. You hit the boat houses, and decide to cut off into Fairmount Park. Old, twisting steps peek out from the brush and trees. Winding and turning, they carry you up to a dirt footpath worn into the grass. You turn around, and over the treetops is the Schuylkill, the Art Museum, and the Philly skyline. Behind you is Lemon Hill Mansion, once home to one of the premier public gardens in the world. This spot is quiet and calm, allowing you to hide from Philadelphia’s gaze while peering out at it.

Philly is filled with spots like this, whether they are grandiose and world-renowned (Art Museum steps, I’m looking at you) or way-stations that let you take in a great view before diving back into the city’s tunnels (Spring Garden El stop, next up). If you want to see a familiar sight from an unfamiliar perspective, try standing at the top of the Art Museum steps at night, when it’s raining or snowing. During a night rainstorm, Center City’s lights cast a glow unto the clouds, creating a skyline that is both eerie and serene at the same time. Nighttime during snowfall creates some visibility problems, but Philly has never looked so majestic.

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Fairmount Leave a comment

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