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GRDadof3

Fountains of Grand Rapids

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I think we would all agree that we could definitely use some more fountains in Grand Rapids. They create a focal point. People are inexorably drawn to water, especially moving water. The sounds and sights are relaxing. They're romantic..

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I think some good spots would be:

The hill at the park at Bostwick and Crescent could be turned into a terraced series of fountains and waterfalls, which would be great next to the expanded VAI,

The garden areas that flank the South and North ends of Calder should have fountains incorporated,

The plaza out in front of Fifth Third Bank on Monroe Avenue,

The island at the end of Lyon in front of the Civic Auditorium entrance to Devos Place,

The area right by Campau Plaza and the new PWCD Committee entertainment complex,

Pearl Street in front of the new Marriott Hotel Conference Center portion,

Can anyone else think of some good spots?

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I agree GRdad; the city needs more fountains. There used to be a huge fountain at Crescent Park. With all the activity up on the hill that park could use some work, and as you suggest defiantly a water feature. I still like the idea of turning the Hinman Company lot at Fulton/Ionia/Louis into a park with a nice fountain. I also see a park/fountain at the Lake/Fulton split.

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I heard that there was supposed to be a fountain on Calder Plaza. For some reason it was never constructed, but all of the plumbing for it is still there.

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Have to agree to disagree on this one.

The idea of a lot of fountains in a city like Grand Rapids, which would need to shut them down for six months of the year, seems shortsighted.

GR has some fountains (Rosa Parks, Veterans Park, Ford Museum, Civil War Monument), but I tend to think fountains in Michigan are somewhat of a waste when they can't be enjoyed in the winter. If there was a way to may an all-season fountain (I've seen some that form giant ice scultures in Europe), then I might change my mind.

All that aside, I think the city would have a hard time justifying installing more fountains -- even if they were donated -- since it can barely maintain the parks system it already has. Keep the pools and other attractions open before adding new maintenance expenses.

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Have to agree to disagree on this one.

The idea of a lot of fountains in a city like Grand Rapids, which would need to shut them down for six months of the year, seems shortsighted.

GR has some fountains (Rosa Parks, Veterans Park, Ford Museum, Civil War Monument), but I tend to think fountains in Michigan are somewhat of a waste when they can't be enjoyed in the winter. If there was a way to may an all-season fountain (I've seen some that form giant ice scultures in Europe), then I might change my mind.

All that aside, I think the city would have a hard time justifying installing more fountains -- even if they were donated -- since it can barely maintain the parks system it already has. Keep the pools and other attractions open before adding new maintenance expenses.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

moving water doesnt freeze as fast, :P so as long as it circulates properly it could go year round, but BRRR dont get into that fountain in january :P

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(I've seen some that form giant ice scultures in Europe), then I might change my mind.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

coleco, where have you seen these? Any photos?

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I'd like to see a large fountain on the walking bridge between the ford museum and the Steelcase ballroom...

Ill post a rendering of my idea soon.

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When the Calder was commissioned, it was a toss up between the sculpture and a fountain. I wonder if we had built the fountain instead if we would all be yearning for big orange metal sculptures... :)

Joe

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A heated fountain in January would really be a crowd pleaser.

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Yes, back when the Calder was commissioned, there was a huge debate as to whether the plaza should be a fountain or contain the stabile. Bob Blandford, then a County Commissioner, led the fight for a fountain.

Thank God he lost.

The Calder helped to inspire a cultural renaissance in GR, was the locus of the annual festivals and has helped to brighten street signs for over 30 years.

A fountain would have meant cigarette butts floating in the water, plumbing problems and leaks into the parking garage. Fountains a great, yes, but not instead of great art.

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