Bailey Fountain

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Coordinates: 40°39′56″N 73°57′54″W / 40.6655°N 73.9649°W / 40.6655; -73.9649

Bailey Fountain
Bailey Fouintain The Squirrels 0073.jpg
Country United States
State New York
Borough Brooklyn, New York City
Park Prospect Park
Nearby structures
Parts crowning sculpture (Wisdom & Felicity),
Neptune, Triton, & boy w/ cornucopia
[1]
Location top of crowning sculpture
 - elevation 140 ft (42.7 m) [2][verification needed]
Architect
Sculptor
Egerton Swartwout
Eugene Savage
[1]
Style tbd
Construction 1929-1932 ($100,000) [3]
Wikimedia Commons: Fountains in Grand Army Plaza

Bailey Fountain is an outdoor sculpture in New York City at the site of three 19th century fountains in Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, New York, United States. Renovated in 1956[1] and 2005-06,[4] the 1932 fountain was funded by philanthropist Frank Bailey as a memorial to his wife.[5] After 1974 thefts, some sculpture elements were stored for safekeeping.[1]

Fountains[edit]

1873 dome fountain

Fountain of the Golden Spray[edit]

The Fountain of the Golden Spray of 1867[6] with a single jet of water was part of the 1867 Grand Army Plaza design.

Dome fountain[edit]

The 1873 dome fountain by Calvert Vaux replaced the 1867 fountain[7] with a two-tiered, double-domed structure of cast iron and molded sections of Beton Coignet.[8] Gaslights in the 37.2 foot (11.4 m) diameter dome[8] were visible through one of 24 colored glass windows for evening illumination.[9] Additional gaslights mounted in the guardrail illuminated the surface of the pool.[10][11] The Brooklyn Mayor criticized the water use of the fountain which could pump 60,000 gallons an hour,[12] and by the 1890s the fountain leaked and was frequently dry[13] (a boy drowned in the fountain in June 1895.)[14]

Electric Fountain[edit]

The 1897 Electric Fountain replaced the 1873 fountain and was controlled by 2 operators during scheduled night exhibitions on Wednesdays and Saturdays with audiences up to 30,000.[15] A Brooklyn Park Commissioner's initial plan for a single spout was superseded by Fredric W. Darlington's[16] design, which was presented in May 1897 to the Park Commission.[citation needed] Wilson & Baillie Manufacturing built the fountain, and the commission's "consulting engineer" was C. C. Martin.[17] Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted placed the fountain at the intersection of two broad paths arranged as a Georgian cross within grassy, treeless plots at the quadrants.[citation needed] The "first exhibition" contracted for July 4, 1897,[17] was delayed until August 7 and attended by "fully 100,000 people".[18]

Neptune lounging in the current fountain's pool

The 6,000 candela "automatic focusing arc lamps" were wired in 3 series circuits for dimming, could each be moved 2 ft (0.61 m) within "silver parabolic reflectors" to narrow or widen the 19 beams,[17] and were positioned in concentric rings around a central light. The lights extended into glass cylinders protruding through the underwater ceiling and were each beamed through switchable disks of colored gels into water jets (there was also a lighted central geyser). The ~2,000 nozzles included umbrellas, ball sprays, wheat sheaves, rings, fans, funnels[17] and whirligigs;[19] with many of the nozzles around the lamp housings.[13] An underground control room on the south of the basin allowed the lighting and hydraulics operators to view through three closely spaced windows in the basin wall[20] 6 in (0.15 m) above the pool surface.[19] A pump recirculated up to 100,000 gallons per hour from the pool in the 120-foot-diameter (37 m) basin.[19] The fountain also had 88 incandescent lamps on the inner edge of the basin's concrete coping, and the Brooklyn Heights and the Nassau Electric railroads[19] donated the electricity.[17]

The 1915 construction of the New York City Subway's IRT Eastern Parkway Line/BMT Brighton Line (2 3 4 5 trains/B Q trains, respectively) under the plaza left no room for the required infrastructure for the Electric Fountain, which was removed.[21]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d "Bailey Fountain" (Historical Signs Project webpage for park marker). Grand Army Plaza. nycgovparks.org. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  2. ^ "X_Value=-73.969842&Y_Value=40.672998". USGS Elevation Web Service Query. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  3. ^ Lancaster, Clay (1972) [1967]. Prospect Park Handbook. New York: Long Island University Press. ISBN 0-913252-06-9. 
  4. ^ [dead link]Prospect Park Alliance Annual Report 2006. New York: Prospect Park Alliance. 2006. p. 8. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  5. ^ "Bailey Fountain, NYC Parks profile". Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Prospect Park". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 20, 1867. p. 2. Retrieved 2011-08-02. "Entering at the main entrance or plaza…the mounds which flank the spot selected for the Fountain of the Gold Spray." 
  7. ^ "The Plaza Fountain". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1873-11-15. pp. 6 Column 4. 
  8. ^ a b Beton Coignet was a method of preparing a very durable concrete which, nonetheless, lent itself to very detailed molds. At the time, the process was thought to rival the very best stonecutting, but was a much cheaper process. The interior of the Cleft Ridge Span in Prospect Park, near the Audubon Center at the Boathouse, is a surviving example. "Artificial Stone". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1873-08-29. pp. Page 2 Column 5. 
  9. ^ deMause, Neil (2001). Berenson, Richard J, ed. The complete illustrated guidebook to Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. New York: Silver Lining Books. pp. 32–6. ISBN 0-7607-2213-7. 
  10. ^ Rigby, Joe (1895-10-13). "Illumination Night at the Plaza Fountain, Prospect Park". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 21 Column 2. 
  11. ^ "Prospect Park: The Fountain at the Plaza". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1874-06-02. p. 4 column 5. 
  12. ^ Hunter also took aim at Stranahan's proposed disposition of the 'East side lands,' the package north of Flatbush Avenue that had been purchased to fulfill Egbert Viele 1861 plan for Mount Prospect Park, but which had been excluded from Olmsted and Vaux's 1866 plan. The change put land titles in doubt and the issue dragged on until the consolidation of the City of Brooklyn into Greater New York. "Municipal. The Mayor Viewing the Park From a Lofty Standpoint". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1874-06-23. p. 4 column 3. 
  13. ^ a b "A Fine New Park Plaza". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1897-01-27. p. 14, column 5. 
  14. ^ "Problem of the Plaza". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1895-03-31. p. 4, column 4. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  15. ^ "Grand Army Plaza". Historical Signs Project. nycgovparks.org. 2001-12-14. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  16. ^ In the 1890s, Darlington had erected electrified fountains in locales as diverse as Willow Grove Park in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, and the Crystal Palace in London. "F. W. Darlington, Engineer, Inventor". The New York Times (New York Times, Inc.). 1947-07-25. 
  17. ^ a b c d e "An Electric Fountain". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1897-05-12. p. 3, column 4. 
  18. ^ "tbd". The Mail and Express (New York). August 1897. "fountain near the arch…in operation for two weeks … opening night, fully 100,000 people watched the display. …brilliant reds, blues, and greens" [verification needed] (cited by Kelsey 1900, p. 237, w/ photos)
  19. ^ a b c d "The Electric Fountain at the Prospect Park Plaza, Brooklyn". The Electrical World 30. August 21, 1897. Retrieved 2011-08-20. "There are twelve combinations of water, spray, jet, and other effects, varying from one to several hundred outlets, and to supply these twelve combinations twelve separate taps are taken from the main pipe extending upward to a corresponding number of gate-lever controlled valves, from which these supply pipes extend up to the bottom of the fountain and pass to the various outlets" :220
  20. ^ "Our Newest Electric Toy". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1897-08-08. p. 13, column 2. 
  21. ^ [Denver's] Friends of the Electric Fountain...have rebuilt [Darlington's 1908] Prismatic Fountain at Feril Lake and rededicated it in August 2008. … The present example follows Darlington's design but using modernized mechanicals. The Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Gardens in Indianapolis, Indiana also has a restored electric fountain constructed in 1916."F. W. Darlington's Electric Fountain". Denver: The Friends of the Electric Fountain. 2006-02-24. 

External links[edit]