Originally called "Northwest Square," the park had a somewhat gruesome history as a site of public executions and burial plots until the early Nineteenth Century. In 1825, it was renamed Logan Square after Philadelphia statesman James Logan.
In June 1864, temporary buildings were built on the square and it was the site of the Great Sanitary Fair, a 2-week exposition that raised US$1,046,859 to buy medicine and bandages for Union troops during the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln visited the fair.
Although the original bounds of the square—18th Street to the east, 20th Street to the west, Race Street to the south and Vine Street to the north—are still intact, the park today is distinguished by its circle, constructed in the 1920s as a segment of Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It was designed by Jacques Gréber, a French landscape architect who converted Logan Square into a circle similar to the oval of the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Philadelphia even modeled its Free Library and Family Court Building after the twin buildings of the Hôtel de Crillon.
Among the sites in its immediate vicinity are the Swann Memorial Fountain at the center of the circle, Free Library of Philadelphia, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Franklin Institute, Moore College of Art and Design, and the Roman Catholic Cathedral-Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Swann Memorial Fountain
Swann fountain was created by the Philadelphia Fountain Society in honor of its late president and founder Dr Wilson Swann. The Swann Memorial Fountain of the Three Rivers was built in 1924 by Wilson Eyre, Jr. and sculptor Alexander Stirling Calder, whose father had designed the William Penn Statue on the Philadelphia City Hall.
Eyre designed the central jet which sends the water 50ft high. The jet is surrounded by three figures representing Philadelphia's principal waterways. Calder sculpted the Schuylkill as a mature woman, the Wissahickon Creek as a girl and the Delaware River is as a man.
- Named for Logan Circle Park, and open space park featuring a large fountain, that was one of the five original planned squares laid out on the city grid.
- Located in the North-West quadrant of Center City, the area is full of high rise buildings surrounded by smaller townhomes and museums.
- Connected to the Art Museum by the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a large corridor known for its many parades and festivals.