Category Archives: Architecture

Kirkton Cross Fountain

Location: High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

It is believed that the drinking fountain which was located outside the old cemetery gates at the area known as Kirkton Cross was installed between 1898 and 1905. Little is known regarding the history of this structure. It no longer exists, and the date of its demise is unknown. Maps from 1910 and 1936 identify the fountain in situ; it may have been removed during the renovation of Main Street in the late 1950s.

1908

Used with permission, Paul Veverka. Source: http://www.blantyreproject.com

Indistinct images on old photographs would appear to indicate that the drinking fountain was number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue. It was 9 feet 6 inches high and was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure consisted of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals united with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

In the standard design, rope moulded cartouches within each lunette hosted the image of a crane, and an open bible displaying a verse from St. John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 14, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.’ However, as customization was encouraged and photographs do not offer detail, there is no evidence to confirm what was contained within the the lunettes. (Several similar drinking fountains in Airdrie, Brora and Stranraer contain profile images of Queen Victoria.)

On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; whilst on the other two sides was the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure was surmounted by an open filigree dome with a lantern finial.

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 7), 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which had a scalloped edge and decorative relief was supported by a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and four descending salamanders, a symbol of courage and bravery. A central urn with four consoles offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane.

Saracen #8

Design #8 advertisement indicates that any of the fountains can be supplied with a Lamp.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, salamanders display bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

Glossary

  • 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
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
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Lakewood Township Drinking Fountain

Location: Lakewood, New Jersey, USA

The village of Lakewood became a Township on March 23, 1893. When several high profile families purchased real estate in the area, it became a vacation resort for the wealthy.

Although the installation of a drinking fountain was the idea of William J. Harrison, Druggist and State Senator in 1903, Captain Albert M. Bradshaw , a real estate agent who handled Rockefeller’s real estate transactions, was put in charge of the project raising $1,000 by subscription. The social hierarchy was evident when a small drinking trough at ground level for dogs was designated for ‘not strays, but the hounds of the Lakewood Hunt Club’.

The drinking fountain was located on Clifton Avenue from 1891 until 1938 when construction began on the post office. The structure was then moved to Main Street at North Lake Drive and Madison Avenue. The lamps were removed and the fountain no longer issued water.

In 1981 during redesign of the downtown area the fountain was moved to within 100 feet of its original location at the northeast corner of Clifton Avenue and Main Street near the Post Office.

The fountain was again relocated in 2016 to a circular driveway in front of Kuser Hall, the new home of the Sheldon Wolpin Lakewood Historical Museum. The museum can be found inside Pine Park, the home of Lakewood Country Club.

The cast iron structure manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works is seated on an octagonal base with chamfered corners. A small basin at ground level allowed dogs to drink, and two large fluted troughs serviced the thirst of horses and cattle. A bronze plaque is inscribed; Erected By / Subscription / 1891 / Made By / The J.L. Mott.Iron.Works / New York.

Eight panels, surmounted with scalloped arches, hosted dolphin masks from which water spouted into four demi-lune basins decorated with laurel leaves. Anchored adjacent to the basin were drinking cups suspended on chains. A square central column displayed cartouches containing an orb surrounded by flourish. Each corner was bound with a highly decorated pilaster.

The capital supported an urn flanked by two elaborate consoles supporting glass lanterns. The highly decorated urn was capped with an orb and pineapple finial (symbolic of friendship and hospitality).

Glossary

  • 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.
  • Chamfered, a beveled edge connecting two surfaces
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Mask/Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure

Williamson Park Drinking Fountain

Location: Lancaster, Lancashire, England

A park designed in the 1870s for John Williamson Snr. was further developed by his son and donated to the city in 1881. James Williamson Jnr., Lord Ashton, paid for further embellishments around 1904 and 1909 including the Ashton Memorial, a bandstand, the Greg Astronomical Observatory and an orangery/palm house (the bandstand and observatory no longer exist).

frith 1912

Circa 1912. Canopied fountain is visible on far left of image. Source: https://photos.francisfrith.com/frith/lancaster-williamson-park-1912_64219.jpg

I can find no information on the drinking fountain that was located at the south end of the park near the lake. I am making an assumption that it was also installed between the years 1904-1909; the date on which it was demolished is also unknown. However, the double tiered plinth on which it stood still exists on the pathway (seems strange to leave it in-situ when it is an obstruction to traffic on the path).

pre 1909 facebook

Circa 1904

The cast iron fountain was design #3 manufactured by the Sun Foundry, Glasgow, Scotland. Four columns with obelisk finials rose from a two tiered plinth to support a solid domed canopy. The finial took the form of a stylized urn from which rose a pilaster and orb. The interior column connectors to the dome were adorned with descending alligators and leafy decoration. Alligators were considered a symbol of evil and were hung from the ceilings of cabinets as a reminder of the mortality of humanity.

Arch faceplates with drip fret detail offered a flat surface for inscriptions in raised metal letters; civic virtues such as temperance were extolled on many drinking fountains. Lunettes above each arch offered tablets for dedications. An indistinct crest can be seen – perhaps the City of Lancaster’s crest.

A fluted pedestal with a wide basin (2 feet 8 inches in diameter) contained the statue of a putto holding an oar seated on an upturned urn. This design advertised as pattern #8 was identified as ‘boy with a paddle and urn’. Water was distributed via the urn and retrieved with a cup suspended on a chain. At ground level, a small trough supplied water to dogs, and a stamp identified Sun Foundry / Glasgow.

Sun #3_putto

Sun Foundry #3 with putto and paddle

Glossary

  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Faceplates
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Obelisk, a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Putto (plural is Putti), a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude

 


Cornwall’s Drinking Fountains

Location: Cornwall, ON, Canada

In 1892 a chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) opened in Cornwall. This organization which encouraged abstinence from alcohol was also concerned with animal rights. In order to achieve this fundamental principle they were pioneers in donating combination drinking fountains/troughs with fresh drinking water for man and beast.

In 1908 a fountain erected at Fourth Street West and Pitt Street was presented to the town by the W.C.T.U. It was still operational in the 1940s. A dedication plaque was engraved, Presented To The / Town Of Cornwall / By The Ladies / Of The / W.C.T.U. / 1908.

4th Pitt 1908_ccmuseum

Note that the base of the structure has been encased in concrete, concealing some of the details. Image Source: http://www.standard-freeholder.com/2017/04/26/cornwall-in-1907-16—-our-place-in-canadas-150#

Another drinking fountain was installed the following year (1909) in front of the old post office at Second and Pitt streets. The September 17, 1909 edition of the Cornwall Standard reported: The water was turned on at the new drinking fountain at the Post Office Cornwall (Pitt and 2nd)…and is now available for quenching the thirst of both man and beast. The new fountain, which replaces the one that has done service for a number of years, was presented to the town by the ladies of the W.C.T.U., who are having one placed at the North End, on Pitt St. The new fountain is larger and of more ornate design. The ladies of the W.C.T.U. are entitled to the thanks of the community for their thoughtful and generous gift.

2nd pitt 1909-post office_cornwall postcards36pennant

The Court House at the intersection of Water and Pitt streets was also the location of a drinking fountain. It was dedicated to the memory of Judge Jacob Farrand Pringle who had served as Mayor of Cornwall in 1855 and 1856. As the date of its installation is unknown it is assumed that it was erected after his death in 1901. This drinking fountain differed from the others and photographic evidence is not sufficient to establish the manufacturer or design.

courthouse_cornwall postcards

Court House at Water and Pitt Streets. Fountain is visible at the left edge of image.

The two cast iron drinking fountains at 2nd and 4th streets were manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York. Seated on a square base with a small demi-lune basin at ground level for dogs to drink, the pedestal contained a panel on each of four sides decorated with an orb surrounded by flourish. Each corner was bound with a highly decorated pilaster. A large trough for horses jutted into the street.

The bottom edge of the square central column was decorated with egg and dart moulding. Tall rectangular inset panels contained the head of a Naiad. In Greek mythology, a Naiad was a female water nymph who guarded fountains, wells, and other bodies of fresh water. The fourth panel hosted a basin for human use, and contained a lion mascaron which spouted water to be captured using a tin cup suspended on a chain.

A frieze of flora decorated the capital which originally supported an elaborately decorated urn capped with an orb and pineapple finial (symbolic of friendship and hospitality).

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Egg and dart, a carving of alternating oval shapes and dart or arrow shapes
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure

Bishopsgate Lost Fountain

Location: London, England

This post is related to a ‘lost’ drinking fountain once located in the area of Bishopsgate in London. There were several drinking fountains located near or on the railings of St. Botolph church, and two of them were donated by Charles Gilpin M.P.

A record sourced from Historic England listing 1359170: Drinking Fountain 1866; 2 stone piers flanking entrance to churchyard from Bishopsgate. Stone with pink granite bands and bowls beneath niches decorated with masks. Brass fittings. South fountain reads “The Gift of the Churchwardens 1866” on side elevation. North fountain reads “The Gift of C Gilpin Esq MP. 1866”

The cast iron drinking fountain which no longer exists  was located in close proximity to the parish church of St Boltoph (I have been unable to discover the specific location). It was presented by Mr. Charles Gilpin M.P. on Wed 11thJuly 1860 to the ward of Bishopsgate in which he resided. Mr. Metcalfe Hopgood of the Common Council took the first draught of water and proposed the health of her Majesty Queen Victoria.

Gilpin was a Quaker and a publisher who was involved in radical politics. He campaigned for parliamentary, economic and land reform as well as the abolition of slavery and capital punishment. The gift of a drinking fountain to encourage the abstinence of alcohol and give an alternative to the thirsty passersby was an acknowledgment to his membership in the Temperance movement which he joined as a youth.

The fountain was cast by Coalbrookdale Company of Shropshire from a design by William and Thomas Wills of Suffolk. The brothers were noted sculptors in the mid 19th. century and best known for their designs of drinking fountains.

1347420-engraving-depicting-the-drinking-fountain-in-bishopsgate

The cast iron frame was in the form of a stylized shield with curved and winged edges. The top part of the shield, in the form of an ogee arch, contained a sculpture of winged cherubs resting upon clouds. The design offered a legend beneath the cherub, He Opened The Rock And / The Waters Gushed Out / They Ran In The Dry Places / Like A River / Psalm CV 41.

A recessed round arch contained the drinking well and the name of the sculptors, Wills Brothers Sculpt London. Water was dispersed into the basin via a spigot concealed behind a clam shell decoration situated in the interior of the arch. Two cups were suspended on chains on each side of the arch. The foundry’s name is engraved on the edge of the basin, Coalbrookdale Co.

Each side of the arch was decorated with reeds and foliage. On the left side was a robed male figure with long beard standing contrapposto. In his left hand was a rod resting on the cusp of the arch. This was a depiction of Moses striking the rock to release gushing water. On the right of the drinking well was the robed figure of a woman offering a basin of water to a naked child.

Below is an example of the same design still in existence in the town of Hythe in Kent.

wikipedia

Circa 2012. Creative Commons License, Nilfanion. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Water_fountain_in_Hythe.jpg

Glossary:

  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • Ogee arch, an arch with a concave apex

 


W.C.T.U. Strasburg Fountain

Location: Strasburg, Pennsylvania, USA

On February 5, 1900 a request to erect a drinking fountain for Man, Beast and Dog at the center of the intersection of Main Street and Decatur Street Centre Square was granted by the council to the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. The fountain, funded by subscriptions, was erected on June 13, 1900 and the dedication ceremony took place on June 29, 1900.

 

Almost two decades later, the fountain was damaged when a heavy wagon collided with it and water service was discontinued. It remained in situ for several years until it was decided that it was an obstacle to increased vehicle traffic. It was removed during the week of July 3-7, 1922. This allowed trolley tracks which had to be curved around the fountain (for the opening of the trolley line between Lancaster and Strasburg) to be re-laid in a straight line through the square.

strasburg heritage society2

Source: Strasburg Heritage Society

The manufacturer of the cast iron drinking is unknown. The overall structure resembles a fountain in Slatington PA, identified by the National Register of Historic Places as manufactured by E. T. Barnum Company of Detroit, Michigan; yet the Strasburg fountain also bears a strong resemblance to castings created by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York.

The fountain seated on a limestone base weighed approximately 2,500 pounds. The two tiered octagonal pedestal decorated with bands of foliate frieze and horizontal reeding supported a large gadrooned trough for the use of horses. A small trough was located at ground level for dogs and smaller animals.

Capture horse

Photograph compliments of Fred Lauzus

A spigot projected from a bas-relief rosette supplied water to a fluted basin for human consumption. A dedication plaque was attached above the rosette; Erected By The Efforts Of The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, 1900.

 

 

A cornice of egg and dart moulding was located beneath the capital which supported an urn flanked by two elaborate consoles originally supporting tear drop shaped electric globes. The urn appears to be a modification of a casting offered by J.L. Mott. A rod with three additional lamps extended from the highly decorated urn capped with a pineapple finial (symbolic of friendship and hospitality).

Capture urn

Note: I would like to thank Fred Lauzus for sharing his research and success in his long term goal of recreating this ‘lost’ drinking fountain.

Glossary

  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Egg and dart, a carving of alternating oval shapes and dart or arrow shapes
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Gadrooning, a decorative motif consisting of convex curves in a series
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Reeding, a regular series of concave grooves or convex ridges
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of liquid

 


Gayasuta Fountain

Location: Sharpsburg, PA, USA

H. J. Heinz, a member of the Temperance movement and extremely unforgiving of those who drank alcohol, donated a cast iron drinking fountain in 1896 surmounted by the statue of an Indian. It was installed at the intersection of Main and North Canal Street currently the heart of the Sharpsburg Central Business District.

The statue represents Guyasuta, a strong warrior and skilled hunter who was also a Seneca Indian chief that resided in the area in the 1700’s. He was chosen by George Washington to be a hunter guide with his party in 1753.

The fountain was struck by a vehicle in 1930 destroying the statue which required a copy to be cast using the original mold. In 1983 the fountain was once again struck by a truck causing damage to the statue. The Indian chief now in his third resurrection was cast by Eleftherios Karkadulias of Karkadoulias Bronze Art Company of Cincinnati.

The original fountain was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York. The structure was seated on an octagonal stone plinth. It consisted of a single pedestal with attic base and canted corners surmounted by a bronze statue of an Indian Chief.

3-JL Mott_Indian

 

The fountain supplied water to horses, humans and dogs via dolphin mascarons. Eight arched cornices contained dolphin masks which are symbolic of guardians of water. Two of the mascarons spouted water into demi-lune fluted basins for human consumption. Drinking cups were suspended by chains. Horses drank from two large demi-lune fluted troughs from which overflow water fed four smaller basins on each corner for the refreshment of smaller animals. A plaque between the dog troughs was inscribed with the maker’s name, The J.L. Mott/Iron Wks. N.Y.

An attic base supported a short column containing 4 inset panels bounded by pilasters. Four panels offered bas-relief with the option of a dedication plaque.

The capital supported the statue of an Indian which was modelled from an original 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. In his right hand the Indian Chief holds an arrow, and in his left hand he holds a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rests 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 balances the sculpture. He is 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.

Glossary

  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • 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.
  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.