Monthly Archives: November 2014

Jubilee Clock Tower Fountain

Location: The Esplanade, Shanklin, Isle of Wight.

The foundation stone of the clock tower was laid in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. The clock tower, built of local ashlar stone with a metal clock face and painted lead on a cast iron roof, was dedicated in 1897 to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

A dedication is engraved into the stone: This Clock Tower Was Paid By / Subscription From /The Lord Of The Manor And / The Inhabitants Of Shanklin / To Commemorate The / Diamond Jubilee Of / Queen Victoria 1897. The Clock tower was listed a grade II historic building in Feb 1992.

Drinking fountain number 15 was manufactured by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry and set into the south face of the tower. The wall mounted fountain with a fluted demi basin is 2’ 9” high. An arch faceplate bears the inscription “Keep the Pavement dry”. Two doves represent the symbolism of the spirit drinking from the water of life. The tap protrudes from a shell lunette which is repeated in the fluted basin. A single drinking cup was originally suspended on a chain.

Glossary

  • Ashlar: finely cut stone
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
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Alexandra Fountain

Location: Alexandra Park, Crosby, Liverpool, Merseyside, England

Alexandra Park was formally opened in December 1902. Although not an optimum month for opening festivities, officials were eager to open it during the Coronation year. The park was named as it was adjacent to Alexandra Road, and also in honour of Queen Alexandra and her coronation in August. A park access road was named Coronation Road.

The drinking fountain was installed in the park in 1903, and little more is known about the history of this drinking fountain. It was restored in 2009 by Sefton Council as part of National Love Parks Week. The project was led by Sefton Park Rangers and assisted by many local volunteers including the Seaforth Information Network Group. The fountain was repainted in the original colour scheme of black and gold, and as the water feature no longer worked the basins were planted with trailing plants.

Purchased from Glasgow’s Saracen Foundry the drinking fountain, 10’ 10” high, is a customization of number 19 (the statue of Samson was replaced). The wide base is in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross, on which is set a circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. The stanchion and central column are decorated with floral relief. Four tendrils protruding from the column once suspended drinking cups on chains. The capital supports the finial, casting #150, a female figure that originally held a leaf above her head.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support

Gentleman Fountain

Location: West Bridge Street & Hope Street, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Patrick Gentleman, and his brother John, owned a local drapery business at 85 High Street. Upon his demise he left a sum of money for the erection of an ornamental drinking fountain in the burgh. When new sheriff courthouses were built at the west end it was decided to erect the fountain on the vacant space between the south end and the public road.

The fountain was handed over in 1871 by Baillie John Gentleman, the sole executor of his late brother, to Provost Russel and the other magistrates, on behalf of the town.

In 1898, County Buildings, which were previously on Bank Street, had been built on the west corner of Hope Street. The fountain remained at this junction until 1923 when it was removed to allow construction of tramlines. The fountain no longer exists and is categorized as Lost.

Drinking fountain number 2, manufactured by the Sun Foundry, was seated on a three tiered octagonal plinth that consisted of eight columns supporting a large solid domed canopy. An open filigree frieze decorated the outer edge of the cornice. Above the cornice was an elaborate filigree design with star shaped terminals. The finial on the cupola was a bird with open wings. A single central lamp illuminated the interior of the structure.

The wide based font, design number 13, was located on a raised and stepped platform. The central pedestal was supported by four columns stamped with a diamond pattern. Square capitals on each side of the dog toothed basin contain a seven pointed embellishment which may represent a star or the sun. This symbol also outlines the ribs on the domed roof. Four consoles with acanthus relief connect the central stanchion to the basin and originally supported drinking cups suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts released water flow. A multi-tiered circular column was surmounted by a studded orb terminal.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Brown Memorial Fountain

Location: Lodge/Court Street, Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland

Cast by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, this drinking fountain was erected in 1924 from a monetary donation by Mrs. Brown to the town; hence the historical reference of the Brown Memorial Fountain.

Design number 19 (10’ 10” high) was seated on a two tier circular plinth. It has a wide base in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross, on which is set a circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. The stanchion and central column are decorated with floral relief. Four tendrils (still visible) protruded from the column to suspend drinking cups on chains. The capital supports the finial, a statue of Samson. Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

During restoration in 1998 the drinking fountain was converted to an ornamental fountain and now rests on a square plinth set inside a large circular stone basin. A green cast iron railing acts as a barrier and a decorative element. The design consists of thistles alternating with gold stars. Four large brass taps have been added from which water pours into the basins. Lights are positioned around the circumference of the stone basin and jets spray water towards the structure.

Tourists are often tempted to throw coins into the basin wishing for good luck. These funds are periodically donated to charity. As the fountain is in the town centre, it is occasionally the target of pranksters. One highly successful prank involved soap powder which led to suds pouring onto the High Street.

The fountain was listed a category C historic building in 1977. It was cleaned and repainted in 1998.

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support

Sacred Heart

Location: The Liberties, Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

This structure was originally a Victorian drinking fountain, number 20, manufactured by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Scotland and bears little resemblance to the original casting.

Canopy_20_eaglecomeheretome2

A horse trough and drinking fountain were erected in 1884 at the intersection of Reginald and Gray Streets. The cost of the fountain was paid for by subscriptions from the Corporation of Dublin, The Fountain Committee, and the Artisans Dwellings Company (established by Sir Edward Cecil Guinness to build housing for the working class.)

During the War of Independence the eagle finial at the top of the dome was destroyed with a shot from the Tans (the Black and Tans were a force of temporary constables recruited to assist the Royal Irish Constabulary during the Irish War of Independence.)

The drinking font was replaced with a statue of the Sacred Heart in 1929 to commemorate the Centenary of Catholic Emancipation as recorded in the base of the Sacred Heart statue. ‘Erected By / The Parishioners./ Of / St. Catherine’s, / To The Honour And / Glory Of God / And / In Commemoration / Of The Centenary / Of The Emancipation / 1929.’ A cartouche on the front arch displays the year of the statue’s installation.

The fountain once again changed form when a furniture lorry collided with the structure. It remained in a state of ruin until it was restored by replacing the open fretwork canopy with a solid copper dome in preparation of the Papal visit in 1979. It was rededicated as recorded in a second engraving in the base of the statue: ‘Restored / To Mark The Visit Of / Pope John Paul II / To The Liberties / 29th Sept. 1979’. At this period in history the location of the shrine was used to recite the Rosary each night, and the annual celebration of Corpus Christi (a moveable feast between May and June) is still celebrated there.

The structure has been listed on the Record of Protected Structures #3326.

The canopied drinking fountain is design number 20, an elaborate 18 feet by 4 feet fountain, sold by Walter Macfarlane & Co, and manufactured at the Saracen Foundry, Possilpark, Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on a double octagonal plinth, the open filigree canopy is supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which are positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated cusped arches were trimmed with rope mouldings. Cartouches contained within each lunette displayed alternate images of cranes and swans and offered shields for memorial. On each side arch faceplates provided a flat surface for an inscription using raised metal letters; often the useful monition, Keep the pavement dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains.

Doves and flowers offered decorative relief, and the internal capitals contain flowers. The ribbed dome was open filigree with an eagle finial at the apex.

Under the canopy stands the font (design number 18.) A circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies, rests on a wide base with canted corners. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Rising from the centre is a pyramid shaped stanchion decorated with swan and bird decoration. The most common terminal was a kylix-shaped lamp with four consoles offer drinking cups suspended by chains.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; lions are symbolic of guardianship; owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife, and eagles represent immortality.

 

Glossary

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cusped Arch, the point of intersection of lobed or scalloped forms
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Sentinel Fountain

Location: Point Richmond, CA, USA

We have the Women’s West Side Improvement Club to thank for the Indian drinking fountain located at Park Place & Washington Avenue (once known as the Triangle, and more recently as Indian Statue Park.)

After researching options a design was selected from J. L. Mott’s catalog which would accommodate humans, horses and dogs: casting #53, Indian Chief.

The fountain was delivered in August and unveiled at a public ceremony on 4 September 1909. The merchants of Point Richmond closed business for 2 hours for the unveiling.

The statue fell to the ground in 1946 when a driver leaving a local bar crashed into the structure with his truck. The Indian was removed, and the metal was recycled to assist in the war effort.

In 1956 the WWIC lobbied the City to restore the fountain to its original state. The Public Works Department suggested that the horse trough was no longer required, and that only one basin should be retained as a water well, converting the remaining two basins into planters.

The fountain base was removed during the 1960s during renovation of the area known as the Triangle.

In 1982 plans to redesign this area raised the idea of replicating the Indian statue. Funding for a new statue was successful thanks to many local contributors. San Francisco Foundation and Skaggs foundation of Oakland were the major benefactors. The statue, sculpted by Kirk St. Maur, is not an exact replica of the original as can be seen in the attached photos. A comparison of the differences is detailed below. The statue was mounted on a granite base and rededicated on 20 October, 1984.

The water supply to the fountain was cut off in 2002 due to repeated vandalism. Funding to make repairs was organized two years later; however the cost was prohibitive, and the project cancelled.

Three bronze plaques relate the story of the Indian Statue Fountain.

  1. “THE SENTINEL” / KIRK ST. MAUR / SCULPTOR / DEDICATION / OCTOBER 20 1984 / MAYOR THOMAS J. CORCORAN / CITY OF RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA / HISTORY OF THE INDIAN STATUE / THE FIRST INDIAN STATUE WAS COMMISSIONED AND DEDICATED / AT THIS SITE IN 1909 BY THE WOMEN’S WEST SIDE IMPROVEMENT / CLUB. LOST TO THE RAVAGES OF TIME, THE STATUE FELL AND / BECAME SCRAP METAL FOR THE WORLD WAR II EFFORT. / MANY HAVE JOINED TOGETHER FOR TODAY’S DEDICATION. THE / HISTORICAL INTEREST IN THE CHOICE OF A NATIVE AMERICAN / REMAINS THE SAME: HIS FREEDOM LOST IN OUR PAST IS A / REMINDER OF HOW PRECIOUS FREEDOM IS AND HOW / PRECARIOUS SURVIVAL REMAINS.
  2. THE STATUE AND POINT RICHMOND TRIANGLE / RENOVATION HAS BEEN MADE POSSIBLE / THROUGH THE VISION OF ROD GARRETT AND / THE FOLLOWING CONTRIBUTORS: / THE SAN FRANCISCO FOUNDATION / CHEVRON RESEARCH COMPANY / THE ATCHISON TOPEKA AND SANTA FE RAILWAY /A comprehensive list of donors…
  3. ….THE POINT RICHMOND / HISTORY ASSOCIATION AND THE POINT RICHMOND / BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, REQUIRED ENTHUSIASM / AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT, DONATIONS HAVE BEEN / GIVEN IN THE NAMES OF THE FOLLOWING: / A comprehensive list of donors follows… / INDIAN STATUE DAY – OCTOBER 18,1986

The statue of an Indian was originally a wood carving created by Samuel Anderson Robb who was the leading cigar store Indian peddler. It was carved for William Demuth & Co. who cast it in zinc and advertised it in his catalog as “No. 53 Indian Chief.” In 1873, the J.L. Mott Iron Works purchased the design and listed it in their catalog of statuary. The statue was also offered atop a cast iron drinking fountain.

The fountain was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works with dimensions of 5ft. 9ins. to the top of the head and 6ft. 6ins. to the top of the feathers. A large square base contained two small wells for dogs, a trough for horses and three demi basins for humans. On four sides, there was a lunette containing a frieze with lion masks. A column extended above with laurel decoration, guilloche and two consoles bearing globe lamps. The capital supported the Indian figure.

The original statue: In his right hand the Indian Chief held an arrow, and in his left hand he held a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rested on a rock. (This stance is called contrapposto, where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed.) A tree stump behind his right leg balanced the sculpture. He was dressed in a headband containing three feathers, a bear claw necklace, a cloak, a breechcloth (fabric tucked into a belt that covered the front and back), fringed leggings and moccasins.

The current statue: In his left hand the Indian Chief holds a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rests on a rock. A feather protrudes from the back of his head. A strap is worn diagonally across his chest from the left shoulder to right hip. He wears a cloak, a breechcloth (fabric tucked into a belt that covered the front and back), leggings and boots.

Glossary

  • Capital, The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, A decorative bracket support element
  • Frieze, The horizontal part of a classical entablature just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Guilloche, Decorative engraving technique of two or more bands twisted over each other in which a very precise intricate repetitive pattern
  • Lunette, The half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting

1911 Heat Wave

Location: New York City, NYS, USA

In July 1911, a heat spell in Eastern North America lasted 11 days hovering over the 100°f  mark. In New York City many were hospitalized and 146 died. A large percentage of the deaths were the elderly and labourers working outdoors in the incessant heat. Drinking fountains long out of use were ordered to be turned on by the Park Commissioner despite the fact that there had been little rain and a water shortage was threatened.

Even the deer in Central Park suffered, and when two deer sheltering under a tree collapsed they were brought to the Park Keeper’s quarters and were revived with the use of brandy.

600 horses died. Ten animals collapsed every hour of the working day for almost a week in Manhattan and the Bronx. They started the day healthy, and after an hour or more in the blazing sun they collapsed. Many delivery men returned to the cart to find one or both horses dead; some leaning hard against their harness partner. So many of them died in the street where they stood that there were few healthy animals available to haul the carcasses away.

The heat wave caused a financial strain on the city, and buckled railway lines causing derailments. The oppressive heat finally ended with a severe thunderstorm that killed an additional 5 people.