Tag Archives: Bertel Thorwaldsen

Hudson-Fulton Monument

Location: Beacon, New York State, USA

As part of the town’s tribute to the 300th anniversary of the Hudson-Fulton celebration of 1909*, Reverend Thomas Elliott, a retired clergyman, initiated a memorial fund from public donations to purchase a fountain.
(*The 300th anniversary celebration of explorer Henry Hudson’s journey up the Hudson River, and the 100th birthday of inventor and engineer Robert Fulton’s trip on the same river in his steamboat Clermont.)

Installation of the fountain was delayed due to tardy donations and electrical issues (lights were installed on the north and south sides of the memorial to mirror passing vessels which were lit up at dusk.) The unveiling and dedication eventually took place on June 19, 1911 at the location of Bank Square.

A circular granite base incorporated a trough for horses and a smaller trough at ground level for the use of dogs. The cast iron structure seated on a square granite block was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York. The bronzed iron pedestal supported a statue of Hebe.

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On alternate sides of the base, there is a lunette containing a lion mascaron within armoria, flanked by acanthus, and an inscription in bas-relief; Hudson-Fulton 1909. The pedestal which repeated the mascaron with fleur de lys, originally supported two consoles bearing globe lanterns. A laurel frieze is situated beneath the cornice.

The capital supports a statue of Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth, classically dressed in flowing robes. Standing contrapposto she holds a pitcher at her right side and a bowl in her raised left hand. The figure was sculpted by Bertel Thorwaldsen.

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Following the advent of the automobile, the need for horse watering troughs declined, and in 1927 the fountain was removed. The statue and pedestal were placed in storage.
Four years later in 1931, the West End Men’s Community Club petitioned for the resurrection of the statue. It was erected facing the river on a triangular plot of land near the southeast corner of Verplanck Avenue and Willow Street which was donated by Mrs. Lewis Tompkins.

Restoration and bronzing of the statue was undertaken by Tallix, Inc. in 2000.

Glossary
• Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
• Armoria, shield, coat of arms, crest
• 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, a decorative bracket support element
• 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
• Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
• Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
• 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

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Bascom Memorial Drinking Fountain

Location: Prospect Park Troy, NYS, USA

Henry Clay Bascom was a prominent business man, owner of the Vedder Pattern Works, a candidate for Governor of New York State, and a well-known Prohibitionist. His wife, Ellen Lucina Forbes Bascom, was a member and president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union of Lansingburg, New York. She donated a drinking fountain to the City of Troy in memory of her husband, I wish to tender hereby to the city of Troy a memorial to the late H. Clay Bascom to take the form of a drinking fountain for man and beast to be erected in Prospect Park, where I trust its pure and cooling waters may symbolize the principles which were so dear to the one whose memory it will commemorate.”

It was erected in Prospect Park in 1907 south of the Warren mansion on the west side of Prospect Avenue. An engraved dedication on the front of the fountain read: H. Clay Bascom Memorial Fountain, Presented to the City of Troy by Ellen F. Bascom, 1907.

1910

Circa 1910

The 15’ 3” tall cast iron structure manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York was seated on a square base. A large fluted demi-lune trough for horses was located at the front of the fountain with a trough for dogs at ground level which was filled with overflow water.

On four sides, there was a lunette containing a lion mascaron within armoria, flanked by acanthus. Two demi-lune basins on opposite sides offered refreshment to humans; and anchored adjacent to the basins were drinking cups suspended on chains. Faucets were operated by pressing metal buttons which released a flow of water over a system of coils encased in ice to provide cool refreshment. A column extending above repeated the mascaron with fleur de lys. A laurel frieze was situated beneath the cornice. (In 1908 a citizen donated two consoles bearing globe lanterns.)

The capital supported a statue of Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth, classically dressed in flowing robes.  Standing contrapposto she held a pitcher at her right side and a bowl in her raised left hand. The figure five feet in height was sculpted by Bertel Thorwaldsen.

Deterioration of the cast iron structure prompted its removal in 1943.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Armoria, shield, coat of arms, crest
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal

 

troy-ny-bascom-fountain-kids-c1910-postcard

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Armoria, shield, coat of arms, crest
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • 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
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal