At least we have a water surplus.
April 17, 2003
Throw a Coin and Hear a Splash: City Fills Its Fountains
By DIANE CARDWELL
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
At least we have a water surplus.
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.
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
- HAMILTON FOUNTAIN, Riverside Park
- TEMPERANCE FOUNTAIN, Tompkins Square Park
- ALGERNON SYDNEY SULLIVAN FOUNTAIN, Van Cortlandt Park
- ROCKEFELLER FOUNTAIN, Bronx Zoo
- JAMES FOUNTAIN, Union Square Park (Union Square Drinking Fountain)
Angel of the Waters Fountain at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park. Beyond the park - Solow Building and GE Building.
Columbus Park Fountain, Brooklyn Civic Center
(Edited by Gulcrapek at 4:51 pm on April 20, 2003)
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.
I like the look of the Brooklyn Civic Center. *Is there a thread on it?
In Union Square....
Anyone have one of the City Hall Park beauty?
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.
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.
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. 1 September 2001.
I was just there today, and noticed the fences. *It's my guess that they've started to relandscape.
City Hall Park
(Edited by NYatKNIGHT at 2:40 pm on June 30, 2003)
Gulcrapek, that Post Office is looking good. Is the renovation finished? *I never realized that it has an inner courtyard.