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Remembering Ed Grusheski

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our dear friend, champion, advocate, and the first director of the Fairmount Water Works, Mr. Ed Grusheski.

We will forever be indebted to Ed for his vision and quiet, steadfast resolve to not only build the Interpretive Center, but to awaken a public appreciation for its art and architecture, and its contributions to serving the public good over multiple centuries.

Later this year, we will celebrate his life at the Center he loved and cherished, in a way that is most befitting to his work and legacy.

He will forever be missed.


On December 23, 2020, Edward Francis Grusheski of Philadelphia, passed away at the age of 74. Ed was born in Boston, the son of Marian Grusheski. Ed graduated from Boston Latin School, Georgetown University and earned a master’s degree in American Civilization at the University of Pennsylvania. He also was stationed in Asia while serving in the US Army as a voice intercept operator.

Ed’s most proud accomplishment was leading the development of the historic Fairmount Water Works into the region’s premier urban environmental education destination, dedicated to fostering shared stewardship of our shared water resources. Ed continued his relationship with the Fairmount Water Works through the rest of his life when he became a consultant, educator, and speaker, giving voice to environmental issues.

Ed exuded enormous optimism and enthusiasm throughout life as a constant learner, world traveler and art collector. He was active in and a contributor to countless programs and institutions in Philadelphia including serving on the boards of the Global Water Alliance, the Fund for the Water Works, and as the president of the local chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology.

He leaves behind many loved cousins and cherished friends. Ed was a joyful and generous gentleman who enjoyed a life well lived.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made in honor of Ed to either:

Old Saint Joseph’s
321 Willings Alley
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center
640 Waterworks Dr.
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Other Tributes


Ed touched so many people with his passion for the Fairmount Water Works…He was a great friend, mentor, and educator and will be greatly missed. He will be remembered as a true gentleman, wearing a blazer and signature bow tie, who was the epitome of a public servant. ~Glen Abrams (Deputy Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, PWD)

Ed always had a smile and a story to tell me about the Water Works. He was filled with knowledge and a passion to share it. I will truly miss his insight and kindness.
~Nicole Brown (Board Member, Fund for the Water Works)

I’m very grateful that we have all been so privileged and blessed to have had the honor of Ed’s friendship and professionalism in our midst all these many years. I pray that with time all of the sadness from the news of Ed’s loss will be replaced quickly by the warmth of our memories of this remarkable man. Our City is the better for Ed!
~Bill Marrazzo (Board Chair, Fund for the Water Works)

For those of you who did not have the joyous opportunity to meet this remarkable man, it was Ed who kept the spirit and inspiration of the Fairmount Water Works alive within PWD and for the larger Save the Water Works family.  He used his considerable charm, Boston accent, and a lot of chutzpah to keep the FWWs dream alive through many decades and mayoral administrations.
~Howard Neukrug (Former Commissioner, PWD, Board Member, Fund for the Water Works)

He was a gallant, brave gentleman. We will be diminished without the benefit of his caring, generous heart.
~Muriel Kirkpatrick (Vice President, Oliver Evans Chapter, Society for Industrial Archeology)

Share your thoughts

How have you been impacted by Ed Grusheki’s life and legacy? Share your thoughts on this Facebook post.

If you have photos of him that you would like to be included at our tribute to him later this year, kindly send the photo, along with a caption to