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Franklin Square’s historic fountain is getting a choreographed light show

The fountain show, complete with lights and music, will make its debut early summer 2019.

A rendering of the new fountain show in Franklin Fountain.
A rendering of the new fountain show in Franklin Fountain.Read moreHistoric Philadelphia, Inc.

Franklin Square's fountain is getting a serious makeover, including its very own choreographed show, complete with lively music, LED lights, and dancing streams of water, to debut next summer.

On Tuesday, Historic Philadelphia Inc., the organization that operates Franklin Square, announced the renovation of the fountain, which was built in 1837 and restored in 2006 after years of disrepair. It is the oldest functioning public water fountain in the country and the longest surviving fountain in William Penn's original five squares in Philadelphia.

The $2 million project will offer shows for daytime and nighttime visitors.

"When we began renovations in Franklin Square, the fountain was first on our list," said Amy Needle, president and CEO of Historic Philadelphia. "We're so excited to be adding this new daytime and nighttime attraction to the square."

Construction has already begun for the project, which was designed by Fluidity Design Consultants, and will pause in November for the square's holiday festival and Electrical Spectacle before resuming in January. While construction is going on, there will be a fence around the fountain. It will be removed for the Electrical Spectacle.

The fountain is getting air-powered nozzles that can send single and double spirals of water into the sky, high and low geysers, and six independently controlled arching jets that spray from the lower pool into the upper pool.

"When I was in office, I would get lots of letters from tourists about how magical the square was," former Gov. Ed Rendell said. "The best thing about Franklin Square is that it's free. I personally can't wait to see the show."