- 302 Shadywood Rd. [HAR]
Houstorian James Glassman sends in this shot of the Wortham Fountain on Allen Pwky. yesterday, with only the nucleus of the dandelion-shaped structure left standing in place amid a dry basin. The unusually windy Laura Day weather did knock out electricity for tens of thousands throughout the Houston area, but isn’t what precipitated the fountain’s depetaling — that appears to have been the hard freeze that damaged the fountain’s slender bronze pipes at the start of this month:
A group called Friends of the Fountain has started an online campaign to raise $60,000 for reversing the recently-halted-after-all changes to the Mecom Fountain, at the roundabout confluence of Main St. and Montrose Blvd. near the entrance to Hermann Park. The group’s crowdfunding page says the money will be used to remove the limestone panels recently screwed around the concrete wall of the 1964 modernist fountain’s elliptical main basin, as well as to repair the concrete and to repaint. A member of Mayor Turner’s transition committee involved with the project also tells Swamplot this morning that around $25,000 of those funds will replace the grant money spent to add the panels in the first place.
Here’s a late-afternoon look at the limestone slabs that have been working their way around the concrete oval basin of the Mecom Fountain in the last week, which the Texas Historical Commission is hoping that TXDoT and the city will stop applying for the moment, according to the Chronicle’s Lisa Gray. Commissioner Linda Henderson told Gray that the organization approved work to redo the north entrance to Hermann Park without realizing that the updates included work on the fountain itself (which is currently being looked at for potential inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, and for city protected landmark status).
Meanwhile, the city planning department has been receiving complaints about the work that include phrases like “suburban mall,” Margaret Wallace tells the Chronicle. As of yesterday evening, the panels had already marched around both ends of the ellipse, with a gap remaining on the southwest side:
If you’ve been waiting for your chance to take the perfect dramatic nighttime photo of the Mecom Fountain, act now! The fountain at the middle of the five-way intersection of Main, Montrose, and Hermann Dr. is currently bubble-bath-free and lights up properly at night, thanks to a more-than-$100,000 renovation effort approved by City Council back in November and completed last week.
Back in the fall of 2006, someone had stolen the 264 bronze canisters and light bulbs that lit up the fountains. After staying in the dark for months, it got some help more recently . . . with floodlights from high atop Hotel ZaZa. Maybe now those floods can be turned into motion detectors!
Security measures to protect the Mecom Fountain lights will include additional surveillance by the Houston Police Department, the Hotel ZaZa and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.
After the jump, photos of the fountain lit up the way it was and how it’s supposed to be, plus a view of the Hermann Park beauty taking a bath.