The Falls Bridge, crossing the Schuylkill River between Kelly and MLK drives, was completed in 1896. Tens of thousands of people either cross or pass by it every day, and it is, perhaps, East Falls most prominent landmark. The Bridge’s intricately detailed ironwork has long been treasured by neighbors and trail users, and its historic “tree of life” motif has been stylized as a recognizable brand for the East Falls community.
Though many of Philadelphia’s historic bridges were lit in celebration of the country’s Bicentennial in 1976, the Falls Bridge was not. Fast forward to the turn of the millennium in 2000. With the backing of then Governor Edward G. Rendell, EFDC solicited competitive designs to “Light the Falls Bridge.” The winning design, selected by East Falls neighbors and friends, was funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and implemented in 2004.