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Gorgas Park
Ridge Avenue & Hermitage Streets
Philadelphia, Pa 19128
Cross Street: Gates Street
General Information
The organization aims to promote the use and beatification of Gorgas Park through free programming, such as concerts and festivals, and through ongoing efforts by their garden club that meets on a weekly basis.

Gorgas Park is located on the west side of Ridge Avenue, between Fountain and Hermitage Streets in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia. Roxborough, lying between the Schuylkill River and the Wissahickon Creek, is a part of William Penn's original 1681 land grant.

Gorgas Park is named for the Gorgas Family who settled in the area toward the end of the 17th Century. In 1759 Joseph Gorgas bought a half interest in land on the banks of the Wissahickon from his brother John, on which he built mills and a stone house replacing a log cabin monastery then on the site. In 1853, The Fairmount Park Commission bought the property, tore down the mills which were built and run by the family, but retained the homestead and the barn, which existed on the property.

Fifth generation Gorgas descendant, Samuel, named his brother Matthias as trustee of a fund set up to benefit their mother and sisters Margaret and Susan. These family members lived in the family home on Ridge Avenue between Gates and Hermitage Streets. The home was built in 1780 and was added on to in 1810 and again in 1892. Samuel later left money to his sister Susan and his niece Susan, the daughter of another brother John. The sixth generation Susan Gorgas, who lived in West Chester, inherited the family homestead and 80 acres of land from her aunt and uncle and grandfather in 1882. She gave 5 acres of land on the west side of Ridge Avenue, north of Hermitage Street, to the City of Philadelphia for a public park for the free use of the people of Philadelphia. Gorgas Park was dedicated in 1895 and was in active use for half a century. During this era it is known to have housed a circular fountain and a gazebo. In the later half of the 20th Century, its maintenance and constructive use fell into decline.

In the early 1990's Central Roxborough Civic Association adopted Gorgas Park. Cleanups and plantings were begun. The Roxborough Anti-Graffiti Group removed graffiti from the Park House. Flea markets became annual events. In May of 1993, local landscape artist and neighbor Cricket O'Brien developed the Gorgas Park Improvement Plan which proposed general site improvements, and upgraded entry plaza, a renewed tot lot and an amphitheater. The estimated $1.3 million required to implement the plan was not found; however, the plan would later form the basis for several subsequent applications and presentations. Philadelphia government earmarked $50,000 in Capital funds to begin improvements and repairs.

  • Volunteer: Events occur almost year-round. From the spring car and craft show to the extremely popular Harvest Festival, we can give you a job based on your skills and abilities. Jobs include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Collecting food and drink tickets
  • Grilling hambugers and hotdogs
  • Setting up tables and other light equipment
  • Vendor check-in and management
  • Volunteer management
  • Emcee
  • What we have:
  • Concerts
  • Garden Club
  • Farmers Mart
  • Trees Line & Gardens
  • Tot Lot
  • Gazebo
  • Ball Field
  • War Memorial
  • Additional Information: Permits are available for your next...
  • Wedding ceremony or reception
  • Engagement / wedding photos
  • Birthday party, barbeque or picnic
  • Charity event
  • Softball game*
  • Professional or student film shoot
  • To Obtain a permit please contact Barbera McCabe, Parks Coordinator for the Philadelphia Recreation Department. *For permit information regarding the softball field at Gorgas Park, contact Darlene Kenney, at the Hillside Recreation Center, at 215-685-2595.

  • Parking: Street Parking.
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