Private Group Now Trying to Crowdfund the Un-Restoration of the Mecom Fountain’s Basin Wall

Mecom Fountain, Main at Montrose, Museum District, Houston, 77006

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.


As of this morning, the page had received about 5% of its $60,000 donation goal. The non-profit Houston Parks Board will hold the money for the work, which will be overseen by the city’s Historical Preservation Office.

Photo of Mecom Fountain roundabout from north of the Sam Houston Monument: elnina

In Reverse at the Roundabout

16 Comment

  • Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot! Who the hell decided to add those panels? I don’t mean a group or a committee name. I mean a person. Does anyone know?

  • It is becoming more and more clear as the hangover wears off that Mayor Parker was completely incompetent.

    Mayor Turner needs to treat everything she did as a blank slate and make his decisions completely fresh.

  • Found memories of that foundation, as a yoot in the 70s, on the way for to visit Dr. Mathis.
    Totally starting to agree on Parker. From the flawed IAH contracts, to the trash plan, to this fountain; she will definitely not go down in history as a hero of Houston.

  • Commenter7 : fully agree!

  • Thankfully Turner reversed course on his earlier decision. This stupid limestone concept needs to be scrapped as it completely ruins the graceful curves / original design and blocks sight lines for a good portion of the fountains.
    The bull-nosed cap was totally inappropriate. Even if no heads roll because of the waste, restoring the fountain to its intended state will be enough for me.

  • 60k? I’ll do the job for 15k, plus the 25k grant money to return for a total of 40k. Somebody’s going to make a lot of money on this.

  • @Commenter7: What did Mayor Parker have to do with putting limestone panels on the Mecom Fountain?

  • Agree, Roanoaker. At $100 oil, no one is complaining about anything. But, like those metal strips popping off the Suzanne illustrated how apartments are built, we are now left with an inferior product that is becoming visibly obvious.

  • I suggest selling the panels when they are removed, I would take quite a many.

  • Yeah, I don’t think this had anything to do with Parker. I think her staff, to the extent that they were even involved, probably thought that the concrete needed repair and refinishing (it does) and that the Hermann Park revitalization team knew what they were doing. If you want to see what it would have looked like, just look over to the southwest toward the statue and you will see plenty of the new limestone and bullnose panels. I find that the project in general has a neo-Moderne feel that isn’t awful, but applying it to the fountain was a surprising lapse of taste and judgement.

  • Did the limestone skirt make the fountain unduly gay?

    Assuming arguendo it is a worthy proposition, how does slab removal deliver an effective slap upon Mayor Parker or demolish her legacy? Her name isn’t even inscribed on it. Or is it?

    What should be removed is the traffic sign on the South end of the oval that was run over in one of those accidents months ago. Accidents that are rather predictable at and around the fountain. And then there is a dire need for a redrawing of the line on the East side of the circle that clarifies where cars coming from Hermann Park and about to merge into the circular flow are actually supposed to stop. And then we need to have the markers for the pedestrian crossings re-painted, – at least in white, if not in colors. Both types wear off over time, as also seen at Montrose/Bissonnett and the recent iteration of the zebra-pattern alternative in Midtown. And some thought should be given to the problem of the unsignalized cross-walk on the Rice U side, where motorists heading south to the TMC and pedestrians proceeding East toward Hermann Park can’t see each other because of the trees.

    And even more thought should be given on how admirers of the fountain can safely get close to it. Limestone, rhinestone, concrete wall, no matter what. People are going to go there. It’s sparkle of the water that’s the attraction. And not all of them are going to be as highly colourful and visible — and less likely to be run over for it — as the quinceañera girls that have their memorable photo shoot there. Some delighted and carefree young people will just sprint across the treacherous curving lanes to get closer for a better selfie.

    Campaign to remove the limestone panels? — What a waste of volunteers’ energy and money while the most obvious safety issues remain unaddressed.

    Not to mention that other historical jewels get demolished with barely a whimper: Like the Incarnate Word Academy and the Town-of-Houston mural on one of the walls of the Houston Club building (along with that little Cameron-JPMorgan Chase park on the corner). Granted, these properties may have been private, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t worthy of attention and efforts of the good people who care about local history and conservation.

    Surely there are more deserving projects in need of attention than slapping an erstwhile rainbow mayor with slab removal, or purporting to do so.

    Assuming she even had anything to do with it in the first instance.

  • Guys, everything you complain about on a daily basis has happened over the last 6 years in a city where the mayor has total executive and legislative control. She puts idiots in charge, doesn’t monitor them and then we get garbage like the fountain renovation but the fountain is the most minor manifestation of 6 years of terrible, non-existent leadership.

    This has nothing to do with her orientation. Failed leadership comes in all shapes and sizes, etc.

  • As someone who uses that traffic circle every workday, I’m largely ambivalent to the the original concrete wall or the current limestone panels being pilloried here. If the concrete needed to be fixed, the scope should have been limited to the fix unless a true consensus that a larger remodel was in order.
    On a tangent, I’d like to put some energy into fixing the actual traffic flow around the traffic circle. Unless one uses the circle frequently, one doesn’t know that there really is only the inside lane to circle. The middle lane is often a gamble because the driver doesn’t know if another car is half in-half out of the lane around the bend since that car may have had a “Oh, shoot!” moment and skittered to merge with the inside lane. All of this slows down the traffic circle flow, which is self-defeating.
    If our overlords want to take a taxpayer-paid junket to study traffic circles (like they did to SF for the Super Bowl), feel free to study up. Though, a Google search would be cheaper.

  • I originally supported Mayor Parker because I thought she would bring a level head to the office, and continue and build on a lot of the good things Mayor White had done. I also thought given the city’s financial position with the reckoning due from the Lanier/Brown era that someone with a solid financial background needed to be in charge. But it’s becoming increasingly clear she spent a great deal of her second term working on whatever she thought might be next for her rather than the job she had.

    I’m a conservative-leaning libertarian and I couldn’t give two shits about her orientation. It never ceases to amaze me how so many clamor for the government to take on new tasks when it is so self-evidently bad at so many of the things it already does. Maybe if it did some of the simple details better, people would find its role less objectionable.

  • 10k raised today….thank you 43 amazing Houstonians for contributing to this amazing cause.

  • Innerloop Pedestrian, you are clearly knowledgeable!