Historic H2O: Philly's Water Landscape Circa 1682

This Sunday, the Wyck Association will host a talk by historian and archivist, Adam Levine (not to be confused with Adam Lavine). The discussion will bring guests back to the founding of Philadelphia in 1682, when the landscape of the city was drastically different:

As you walk on many of Philadelphia's sidewalks, beneath your feet is a hidden world of streams that once crisscrossed the city. Join us for a fascinating illustrated lecture that will uncover part of Philadelphia's history that few people ever think about—the drastic changes made in Philadelphia's landscape since its founding in 1682. Historian and archivist Adam Levine has been digging into the history of the city's sewers and drainage systems since 1998, and his talk will focus on the systematic obliteration of hundreds of miles of surface streams. Buried deep underground in pipes as large as 20 feet in diameter, these former streams—some of which had watersheds that covered thousands of acres—became main drainage arteries in the city's 3,000 mile sewer system. These massive alterations to the landscape, undertaken over two centuries, have environmental repercussions that are still being felt today.

"From Creek to Sewer: A History of Topographical Change in Philadelphia," Saturday Oct. 30, 2 p.m. at the Wyck House, 6026 Germantown Ave., $5 Wyck members; $7 non-members, to register, email Rebekka Schultz: rshultz@wyck.org.