Buffalo Bayou Pump-n-Spritz On the Fritz

BUFFALO BAYOU PUMP-N-SPRITZ ON THE FRITZ Open Channel Flow — that 60-ft. public showerhead behind the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark — cost $154,000 to build. Apparently, that sum didn’t include any rainy-day money for maintenance: Pump all you’d like, reports Hair Balls’ Brittanie Shey, but nothing’s coming out. To find out why, Shey says she contacted the artist, Matthew Geller, city council member Ed Gonzalez, and members of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership and Houston Parks, and no one had an answer. Eventually, Gonzalez’s chief of staff was able to pass the buck: “He told me that the artwork falls under the jurisdiction of the Public Works and Engineering department, and that the department had fielded a request in March to repair the sculpture. That repair had apparently not been made. ‘We’ve asked for that to be investigated,’ he said.” [Hair Balls; previously on Swamplot] Photos: Metalab

12 Comment

  • Who would have thought I could build a full-scale house with a complete, working plumbing system for the cost of this one faucet? The more you know…

  • No wonder the hobos downtown have been a little “ripe” lately.

  • A member of BBP told me glowingly years ago that the shower would be incorporated into the skate park design. I was a bit underwhelmed and think they missed the mark. The gate on the west side of the skate park was always locked, I never saw any skaters walk around for a refresher. The only people I’ve seen doused by the shower were my unsuspecting out of town friends before a round of disc golf. “You shouldn’t have been standing there.”

    Couple this with the fact that I know the pump handle has been broken since 2011, and methinks the buck was passed long ago.

  • @ Eric S – we always referred to it as the “bum shower.” On any level, it is a nice fixture to replace the former enclave of foliage (surrounding the tee box on Original Hole 2 of the DG course) from which bums & their commodities put the Chicago Board of Trade to shame.

  • I should say, to compensate for the loss of said foliage.

  • That’s art?

  • Repair requested in March and it’s June. That sounds about right for a PWE response. Let’s see how fast Council Member Gonzalez’s office gets it fixed. After my 311 requests fall into the COH black hole I typically call my Council Member’s office. It takes them rattling someone’s cage with my submitted project numbers to fix anything.

  • One hundred and fifty-four thousand dollars.
    You’ve got to be kidding me.

  • Ok, here’s my cranky old man comment, but why can we spend six figures on a sculpture for one park, but can’t come up with the funds to open the public swimming pools in all the neighborhood parks in the summer? Priorities, I suppose.

  • Bums don’t use showers – they use fountains, duh! (go visit Peggy’s Point Plaza Park).

    Reminds me of the original artsy lighting on the 59 bridges between Shepherd and Main. That lasted how long?

  • I wondered when they were ever going to get around to repairing that lighting myself. Seems like the answer is: never.