It all started when…
For more than 40 years, a quirky, little brick building named “The Bathey” sat on a forgotten piece of Fairmount Park. Located on South Ferry Road, the old, decrepit pool house sat mid-way between Ridge Avenue and Kelly Drive. Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust and East Falls Development Corporation (EFDC) sought a way to revive the once vibrant neighborhood swimming hole into a city landmark and gateway to East Falls.
In 2007, the Trust and EFDC facilitated a public-private partnership with developer Brinton Partners. In 2009, Brinton leased the space to Trolley Car Diner owner Ken Weinstein and plans were made to rehabilitate the building for use as a café, welcome center for East Falls and bike rental shop.
On November 12, 2009 a ground breaking ceremony, featuring Mayor Michael Nutter, was held to highlight the significance and uniqueness of this project. After six months of construction, Trolley Car Café opened on June 3, 2010.
The project was made possible with funding from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the William Penn Foundation, the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Schuylkill River Heritage Area, The Schuylkill Project, City of Philadelphia Commerce Department, The Reinvestment Fund, The Merchant’s Fund and capital investments from Brinton Partners and Trolley Car Cafe.