View Full Version : City Fills Its Fountains

April 17th, 2003, 08:29 AM
April 17, 2003
Throw a Coin and Hear a Splash: City Fills Its Fountains

As New Yorkers optimistically began packing away sweaters and retrieving air-conditioners from winter storage, city officials engaged in a springtime ritual of their own yesterday: turning on the fountains that have been dry since the fall of 2001.

Just before noon, while the balmy season that has been something of a flirt lately was still showing itself, officials gathered in all five boroughs to herald the return of artfully moving water to a long-parched city.

"The fountains have been dry and dusty for 17 months, they've been in repose," said the parks commissioner, Adrian Benepe, who had joined Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris and the environmental protection commissioner, Christopher O. Ward, in turning a ceremonial valve to let the waters flow at City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan. "The sound of water splashing in a park is one of the sounds inalienably linked to spring in New York," he said. "You could literally not be able to see, and from the sounds you would know that it's spring."

Officials played host to simultaneous events at five other municipal fountains to celebrate, post-drought, the ability to gather the approximately 1.3 million gallons of water necessary to start up dozens of fountains throughout the city. Those were at Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx, Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, South Beach in Staten Island and Columbus Park at Borough Hall in Brooklyn.

Even though most fountains maintained by the city recirculate water, they stayed off last summer to remind New Yorkers of the drought emergency, which was lifted toward the end of the year. The drought watch left in its place was lifted in January, and the reservoirs reached full capacity last month. Officials plan to turn on roughly 50 fountains over the next week, but not those needing repair, Mr. Benepe said. Once running, they will continue 24 hours a day until cold weather signals the time to shut them off, generally sometime between Columbus Day and Thanksgiving.

But for now, they will be on. Yesterday, the Brooklyn borough president, Marty Markowitz, gathered a dozen or so children from a Brownsville Recreation Center program to throw pennies into the fountain. He invited the adults eating their lunches on the steps of Borough Hall to participate as well. "I don't know the next time I'm going to be handing out money," he coaxed. "This may be a first."

One man, a driving instructor named Don Murph, took him up on the offer even though, he said, he had already thrown in a quarter of his own and wished for more affordable housing in Brooklyn.

Mr. Markowitz, ever enthusiastic, just might have a way to fulfill it. "With the budget crisis, every day we'll send someone down to collect the pennies and put it in the general fund," he joked. "We'll use the pennies to fulfill those dreams in Brooklyn. Sounds good to me."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

April 17th, 2003, 09:03 AM
At least we have a water surplus.

April 17th, 2003, 10:39 AM
Yeah, it will be great to see them finally going again, obviously, but it may also help give a sense that these aren't the worst of times.

April 17th, 2003, 08:57 PM
The article puts the number of New York City fountains at 50. From the website of City of New York Parks Department at http://www.nyc.gov/parks I compiled the following short list. You are encouraged to add to this list.

- Angel of the Waters Fountain at Bethesda Terrace, Central Park
- City Hall Park Fountain
- The Heinrich Heine Memorial Fountain (also known as the Lorelei Fountain) in Joyce Kilmer Park (Grand Concourse Plaza)
- Columbus Park Fountain, Brooklyn
- The Unisphere, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
- South Beach Dolphin Fountain, Staten Island
- BAILEY FOUNTAIN, Grand Army Plaza
- TEMPERANCE FOUNTAIN, Tompkins Square Park
- JAMES FOUNTAIN, Union Square Park (Union Square Drinking Fountain)

Angel of the Waters Fountain at Bethesda Terrace (http://wirednewyork.com/parks/central_park/bethesda-terrace/) in Central Park (http://wirednewyork.com/parks/central_park/). Beyond the park - Solow Building (http://wirednewyork.com/skyscrapers/solow/) and GE Building (http://wirednewyork.com/skyscrapers/ge/).


April 20th, 2003, 04:50 PM
Columbus Park Fountain, Brooklyn Civic Center


(Edited by Gulcrapek at 4:51 pm on April 20, 2003)

May 5th, 2003, 06:54 PM
Frederick William MacMonnies (1863-1937)
Pan of Rohallion, 1890

In 1889, the young Paris-trained sculptor MacMonnies received a commission from the Beaux-Arts architect Stanford White to execute a fountain figure for the grounds of Rohallion, an estate White had designed in the late 1880s in Seabright (now Rumson), New Jersey. The owner, Edward Dean Adams, a prominent New York banker and a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum, chose this name for his summer home because its gentle hills and red soil reminded him of a place in Scotland. MacMonnies modeled Pan of Rohallion in Paris, where it was cast at the Gruet Foundry. Pan is depicted as the young god of flocks and pastures, the forests and their wildlife, contentedly playing his reed pipes.

The Pan of Rohallion fountain in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (http://wirednewyork.com/museums/met-museum/).

http://wirednewyork.com/images/museums/metropolitan-museum/metropolitan_museum_fountain_pan_rohallion_4may03. jpg

May 5th, 2003, 07:24 PM
I like the look of the Brooklyn Civic Center. *Is there a thread on it?

May 7th, 2003, 04:05 PM
In Union Square....


May 7th, 2003, 04:38 PM
Anyone have one of the City Hall Park beauty?

May 7th, 2003, 08:54 PM
The focal point of Osborne Garden in Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a water basin more than 17 feet in diameter. Inside is a fountain, the bowl of which was carved from a piece of Indiana limestone that is said to be the widest ever brought to New York City.


May 9th, 2003, 03:21 PM
I would also add the large fountain in the middle of Washington Square Park. *I'll try and take a picture the next time I'm down there.

May 10th, 2003, 12:00 PM
And we should not forget the Columbus statue fountain. By the way, couple of days ago a digging of Columbus Circle began around the statue, the fountain is fenced off. Anyone knows what's planned?

The Columbus statue and the construction of AOL Time Warner Center (http://wirednewyork.com/aol/). 1 September 2001.


TLOZ Link5
May 10th, 2003, 07:49 PM
I was just there today, and noticed the fences. *It's my guess that they've started to relandscape.

May 12th, 2003, 04:28 PM
City Hall Park



Gas Lights


Bowling Green


(Edited by NYatKNIGHT at 2:40 pm on June 30, 2003)

May 12th, 2003, 09:15 PM
Gulcrapek, that Post Office is looking good. Is the renovation finished? *I never realized that it has an inner courtyard.

May 26th, 2003, 09:02 PM
The fountain and the gilded statue of Prometheus in the sunken plaza of Rockefeller Center (http://wirednewyork.com/manhattan/rockefeller_center/).

http://wirednewyork.com/manhattan/rockefeller_center/images/rockefeller_center_prometheus_fountain_26may03.jpg (http://wirednewyork.com/manhattan/rockefeller_center/default.htm)

May 26th, 2003, 10:59 PM
Has anyone noticed how well-maintained New York's parks are compared to those of other cities? It probably has something to do with the ratio of population density to parkland acreage. In any case, the parks in New York seem to be the most intensely maintained of any North American metropolis. Even in Canada, with its legendary stewardship of the public realm, the greenspaces look scruffy compared to some New York squares.

May 27th, 2003, 03:12 PM
The new fountain at Hudson River Park (Christopher Street Entrance).
Madison Park Fountain
The POseidon Fountain (or whatever fountain is under renovation at Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza)

May 28th, 2003, 05:23 PM
Christopher St fountain at the soon to be opened Hudson River Park.

May 28th, 2003, 07:14 PM
Looks a bit bare and desolate. Hopefully the problem is just that the trees haven't grown in.

May 28th, 2003, 08:08 PM
No opportunity for a better angle - construction fence.
Landscaping not complete.

May 29th, 2003, 09:30 AM
I've seen that one, that whole new park area looks like it's ready to be open soon, and people are chomping at the bit to get in there. They sit along the chain link fence adjacent to it. Looks nice!

May 29th, 2003, 11:02 AM
I never thought I'd see the day when there would be trees and grass on the piers.

Some minor stone work left. Assuming they'll let the plants set in before turning us animals loose, hopefully it will be open by the start of summer.

June 9th, 2003, 10:17 PM
The fountain in front of the GM building and The Plaza Hotel (http://wirednewyork.com/hotels/plaza_hotel/).


June 24th, 2003, 12:11 PM
The fountain in the center of Washington Square Park.


(Edited by NYatKNIGHT at 2:42 pm on June 30, 2003)

June 29th, 2003, 06:18 PM
NYatKNIGHT already posted nice pictures of City Hall Park fountain, but here is another one.


June 30th, 2003, 11:18 AM
Very nice. Thanks for the compliment but my photos didn't do this fountain justice.

Here's the fountain in the Chase plaza:


June 30th, 2003, 11:47 AM
Is it true goldfish used to swim there? If so, no wonder they died.

June 30th, 2003, 11:48 AM
Man, the City Hall park fountain is beautiful. *Gas lamps and all.

July 7th, 2003, 11:42 AM
Sixth Avenue - Rockefeller Center




July 28th, 2003, 11:09 PM
The fountain (waterfall?) and the outdoor restaurant in front of the 2 World Financial Center (http://wirednewyork.com/wfc/2wfc/) building.


July 29th, 2003, 03:33 AM
Edward, a little off topic but do you know the name of that Outdoor restraunt??

July 29th, 2003, 09:44 AM
I think the name is SouthWest NY

August 17th, 2003, 08:26 PM
I don't know how to post pictures directly here, but I am doing a series on NYC Fountains that started on 8/3 and will run at least to the end of the month:


Some of which have been covered here, some from pocket parks, a standout from the NYBG ... Anyway, reading this thread and seeing some of the great photos gives me lots of good leads for the rest of the series! * Fountains are a great photo subject.

August 20th, 2003, 06:00 PM
The fountain of life at the Mertz Library, New York Botanical Garden.


August 26th, 2003, 09:59 PM
Triumph of the Human Spirit by Lorenzo Pace in Foley Square

August 27th, 2003, 07:23 PM

September 28th, 2003, 09:13 PM
Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain in Bryant Park

At the western gateway to the park is the pink granite Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain, dedicated in 1912. This was the city’s first public memorial dedicated to a woman. Lowell (1843-1905) was a social worker and founder of the Charity Organization Society. Charles Adams Platt designed the fountain.


October 5th, 2003, 11:32 PM

To enter the six-acre Garden from Fifth Avenue and 105th Street, you must pass through the Vanderbilt Gate, which originally stood before the Vanderbilt Mansion at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street, the site of today's Bergdorf Goodman store. An Italian-style garden opens immediately before you. It is a restful oasis of formal green lawn and clipped hedges. It is bordered to the north and south by alleés of crabapple trees; their bloom times vary from mid-April through the first week of May, depending on the weather.

On the west side is a wrought-iron wisteria pergola that sits atop a series of tiered yew and spiraea hedges. An elegant geyser fountain in front of the pergola provides a vertical contrast to the rows of hedges.


A rainbow in the geyser fountain of the Conservatory Garden.


October 12th, 2003, 11:44 PM
A picture from September - kids are thirsty.


October 12th, 2003, 11:49 PM
never mind

TLOZ Link5
October 13th, 2003, 11:14 AM
It looks like the second one's thirsty for the first one's butt.

Lame :roll:

October 13th, 2003, 11:44 AM
It does though...

Anyway, nice picture, and nice fountain.

October 14th, 2003, 10:56 PM
The fountain on the corner of Avenue of the Americas and 50th Street, across from Radio City Music Hall.


October 15th, 2003, 01:50 PM
I don't think I've ever seen that one before...

October 15th, 2003, 05:35 PM
Oh yes you did, it's just an unusual angle, NYatKnight posted a different view of this fountain on a previous page.

November 7th, 2003, 05:44 PM
The fountain across 61st Street from The Pierre (http://www.wirednewyork.com/hotels/pierre/).


November 29th, 2003, 05:54 PM
The fountain cascade at Rockefeller Center (http://www.wirednewyork.com/manhattan/rockefeller_center/) during 2003 X-mas season.


April 17th, 2004, 10:50 PM
The Gilded Age produced nothing like this aquatic show. Water gushing from a row of concealed jets can be manipulated into different heights and configurations, from low gurgle to Old Faithful. The fountain gets it about gravity. Rising up in pulses, the water seems to hang in the air, as if captured by strobe photography, before crashing to the ground in a percussive, drenching splash.

http://wirednewyork.com/museums/brooklyn_museum/brooklyn_museum_art_fountain_17apr04.jpg (http://wirednewyork.com/fountains/)

The Jenkins Fountain is centered in a pool 24 feet in diameter and 1-1/2 feet deep. Lily Pool Terrace, Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

http://wirednewyork.com/images/brooklyn/botanic_garden/jenkins_fountain_lily_pool_17apr04.jpg (http://wirednewyork.com/fountains/)

July 29th, 2004, 10:55 AM
Historic Bailey Fountain At Grand Army Plaza Reopens

http://www.ny1.com/images/homepage/video_icon_02.gif (http://real.ny1.com:8080/ramgen/real3/000C28D2_040728_151644hi.rm)

JULY 28TH, 2004

After a two-year restoration, the water is flowing once again at the historic Bailey fountain in Brooklyn, the centerpiece of Grand Army Plaza.

Bailey fountain was built in 1932 and features figures representing fertility and wisdom.

It became a favorite backdrop for countless wedding photos.

The $1.5 million restoration project was funded by the mayor's capital budget through the City Council.

Copyright © 2004 NY1 News.

August 8th, 2004, 08:40 PM
The pool is full, but no water from the spouts.

Nice public space, but it's difficult to get to. The plaza perimeter needs work, maybe turn the painted no-traffic zones into real sidewalks.

More Grand Army Plaza (http://www.pbase.com/zippythechimp/grand_army_plaza)

December 13th, 2004, 09:27 PM
The fountain in Samuel Paley Park, on East 53rd Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues.

http://wirednewyork.com/images/fountains/samuel_paley_fountain.jpg (http://wirednewyork.com/fountains/)

TLOZ Link5
December 13th, 2004, 11:05 PM
Probably the most successful and friendly of the city's public plazas.

March 26th, 2007, 11:24 AM

http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/6716/bethesda01ur5.th.jpg (http://img155.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bethesda01ur5.jpg)

The Benniest
July 21st, 2008, 11:30 PM
I must say, the fountains in NYC are looking great!

I really enjoyed seeing the City Hall fountain, the Grand Army Plaza across from The Plaza and of course ... Columbus Circle.

All are great! :rolleyes:

NYC Novice
October 14th, 2008, 12:25 AM
The Firemen's Memorial, dedicated in 1913, at 100th & Riverside.


If this fountain has already been posted, apologies.

October 14th, 2008, 04:26 PM
^Very Nice. Welcome!

October 26th, 2008, 11:44 AM

"Filling the Fountain"
James Neeley (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpn/2970919797/sizes/m/in/pool-35034350743@N01/)

Click for larger.

July 18th, 2010, 01:21 AM
Fountains, Fountains, Everywhere...


slide show (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/07/16/nyregion/0718fountain_slideshow.html)


EACH spring, the 55 public fountains maintained by the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation are brought back to life by an infusion of roughly 1.3 million gallons of water. Then they work their aquatic magic, self-sustained by circulation pumps, powered by hydraulics and in most cases protected by bromine filtration systems. (No chlorine because it’s too harsh on century-old stone and bronze statuary.)

Pennies from wish-makers are far from the only offerings made to these people magnets.

Also tossed in are thousands of other coins, cellphones, jewelry, cameras, shoes, sandwich wrappings and the occasional dead rat. “Sometimes we fish people out of the fountains, but unlike the rats, they’re alive,” said Al Simoncini, who is responsible for making sure that Brooklyn’s three city fountains run properly. “Technically, it’s feasible for someone to drown in one, but to my knowledge no one has.”

The fountains come in various guises. The city’s first vest-pocket park, Paley Park, on 53rd Street, features one that looks like a water wall. The Delacorte Fountain in the East River at 49th Street was dreamed up as a rival to the Jet d’Eau, a spectacular geyser in Lake Geneva. But it spewed dirty river water into passing boats, among other misdeeds, and was shut down in 1986.

Audrey Hepburn cooled her feet (still wearing espadrilles) in the Barcaccia Fountain in “Roman Holiday,” but do not emulate her. Bathing in city fountains is punishable by a $50 fine. The one exception is the Arthur Ross Terrace, outside the Museum of Natural History, which is designed for wading.

Unlike bathing in fountains, the custom of tossing coins in them seems irrepressible. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for instance, estimates that its visitors throw $3,000 a year into its fountain, koi pond and other water attractions. But Mr. Simoncini, the parks department official, said his crews retrieved little money. “The homeless people go in there at night and do the job for us,” he said.

One balmy afternoon in Bryant Park, Ellie Guilfoyle, 3, of Forest Hills, Queens, had her first encounter with a city fountain. Holding a yellow balloon in one hand, she used the other to plop in several pennies and bashfully revealed her wish: “A purple balloon.” Her mother, Megan, copped to higher stakes.

“I threw in a quarter,” Ms. Guilfoyle said. “I want a lot of balloons — with a house attached.”


July 18th, 2010, 11:18 AM
... Audrey Hepburn cooled her feet (still wearing espadrilles) in the Barcaccia Fountain in “Roman Holiday,” but do not emulate her. Bathing in city fountains is punishable by a $50 fine. The one exception is the Arthur Ross Terrace, outside the Museum of Natural History, which is designed for wading.

Can this be true for the Washington Square Park fountain? If so it's certainly not enforced.

July 18th, 2010, 09:24 PM
Don't forget the mother and child fined for wading into the stream at Teardrop Park in June.

September 26th, 2010, 01:24 PM
City Hall Fountain at night.

http://wirednewyork.com/wp/media/2010/02/city-hall-fountain-night-600x400.jpg (http://wirednewyork.com/fountains/)

August 25th, 2011, 11:23 PM