The Lost Centennial Project

The Lost Centennial Project

by Gary Reed

The Lost Centennial Project is an exploration of an area many people speed by everyday. Other than the Please Touch Museum and Mann Music Center located inside the original footprint of the Exposition space, there isn’t much incentive to explore it.

My goal is to showcase many of the forgotten treasures of this district. One of these jewels is the Centennial Arboretum which is the home of The Horticulture Center and the Japanese House located right behind the Please Touch Museum. The Arboretum is open to the public, free of charge. The magic here is the 27 acres of wandering trail, brooks, and gardens. During the spring you may find yourself in the middle of a butterfly or humming bird garden. There is a path that was once Fountain Avenue leading you directly to the Catholic Total Abstinence Fountain and the two remaining Centennial and Concourse Lakes.

This area has always held a fascination for my camera and myself. You are surrounded by soft rolling hills, the fragrance of freshly blooming flowers, and you can listen to the wind sitting on a bench under a tree. It is hard to believe at times that this entire area was a manmade environment that supported over a million people. Plus the structures were removed allowing the re-establishment of the original environment, allowing nature to take ownership and slowly complete the work.


Gary Reed is a photographer and Technology artist who lives in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. A selection of Gary Reed’s Lost Centennial Project images are presently on display at the Crossroads Café. A more extensive collection is available at

Gary is also a frequent contributor to the Eyes on the Street Flickr group. You can join him there too.



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