The Fountain Street steps are one of Philly’s most stunning hidden works of art!
Philly is covered with gorgeous works of public art, but not many know about Manayunk’s “Water Under The Bridge.” Also known as the Fountain Street Steps, this set of stairs connecting the Schuylkill River trail to Manayuk’s main street will make you feel like you’re walking on water.
Only visible if you go up the steps or turn around whilst walking down, the brightly colored steps act as a continuation of the nearby river and its surrounding greenery, giving passersby the illusion of walking up a magical stream vaguely reminiscent of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” The work was created by mosaic artist Beth Clevenstine and muralist Paul Santoleri to bring attention to Fountain Street’s steps and overpass’s surrounding nature and brighten up an otherwise inconspicuous pedestrian path.
“Water Under The Bridge” was inaugurated back in 2015 and was commissioned by the Philadelphia Water Department and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program as part of a larger project to better preserve and embellish the area. Nowadays, it’s one of Philly’s most Instagrammable spots and one of the city’s best kept secrets, hidden in plain sight.
For those wishing to check the gorgeous steps out, these are tucked away in Manayunk between Fountain and Umbria streets and under the bridge overpass. There you’ll not only find the mosaic steps but also surrounding murals that will make you feel like you’ve just dived into a surreal, almost cartoon-like stream of fresh water!