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Schuylkill River


Watercolor on paper drawing of "Schuylkill River", ca.1799, from the Latrobe Sketchbooks, by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. In 1798, Latrobe moved from Richmond, Virginia to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His first project was designing the Bank of Philadelphia. Following a series of Yellow Fever epidemics in Philadelphia in the late-1700s, the city sought to improve the quality of the water supply, which at the time was considered the source of the disease. In 1799, he was hired to design the Center Square Waterworks to bring in fresh water from the Schuylkill River into Philadelphia. The system suffered problems and was replaced with another by 1812. This view shows the river at right, a steep rocky cliff face at left, and some distant houses at center.


circa 1799


Watercolor on paper


10.5 x 7 inches

Object ID


Resource ID



Sketchbook 5

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.