Washington Square Park Fountain Looks Lovely ON … but Do you Think They'll ever Turn it OFF?

I had this strong desire to see Washington Square Park’s Fountain turned ON before the long-under-construction and fenced off Plaza opens (it looks like any day now). I’d heard they’ve been testing the waters. (And I bet they were, um, happy to discover that the Fountain actually worked after re-routing all the underground water pipes to gain that oh-so-necessary alignment with the Arch at Fifth Avenue.) I was starting to lose a bit of hope that I would actually see it on. But, then, by chance, the other day, I did! Everyone else walked by barely taking a glance at the water spouting upwards in the middle of the fenced-off isolated Plaza. But, for me, it was exciting.

The Arch and Fountain Together Again
The Arch and Fountain Together Again
"New" Fountain ON
"New" Fountain ON

It just makes me wonder… as lovely as the new Fountain looks ON, do you think they’ll ever turn it OFF?

"Old" Fountain flowing with people
"Old" Fountain flowing with people

"Old" Fountain
"Old" Fountain

As Jane Jacobs wrote in The Death and Life of Great American Cities of Washington Square Park’s famous fountain, “In effect, this [fountain] is a circular arena, a theater in the round, and that is how it is used, with complete confusion as to who are spectators and who are the show.”

About Washington Square Park overall, she stated, “The city officials regularly concoct improvement schemes by which this center within the park would be sown to grass and flowers and surrounded by a fence. The invariable phrase is ‘restoring the land to park use.’ That is a different form of park use, legitimate in places. But for neighborhood parks, the finest centers are stage settings for people.”

Top Three Photos: Cat

Photo#4: CharlotteWebGal (on Flickr)

Photo#5: NicoletteSara (on Flickr)