Is the New Washington Square Park Fountain Falling Apart? Fountain Now Under Wraps (Updated 5/17)

by cathryn on May 16, 2011

Updated May 17th, 2:52 p.m.

Washington Square Park Fountain Now Under Wraps

Workers today at work on the fountain

Later in the Day... Fountain Fully Closed Off from Viewing

what went wrong?

Cracks in the Fountain

I’ve been thinking about writing about the fountain’s construction falling apart for awhile but now it appears there’s a real reason. There are workers on the scene repairing it. A reminder: the fountain is brand new, it was reconstructed from scratch as part of Phase I of Washington Square Park’s redesign in which the Bloomberg Administration decided to move it 23 feet east to align with the Arch at Fifth Avenue. It was newly constructed and unveiled to the public in 2009. So what went wrong? Was there faulty construction? Was it anchored properly? Did the Parks Department oversee the job? More information to come including response from the NYC Parks Department (Update: no response yet).

Updated May 17th, 2:52 p.m.: Third photo from the top is from late yesterday afternoon. The fountain is now fully encased by fences covered in green draping blocking off viewing of the work being done.

Some additional background: The fountain is part of the park’s controversial $30 Million + redesign plan, currently in the midst of Phase II (of III).The fountain had been located in its previous spot in the center of the park since 1871. Seven 40 year old trees were chopped down to accommodate the moving of the fountain. Two replacement trees planted in 2009 died, were replaced, and those replacement trees in the same location died also. They were recently replanted in the hope that they will survive this time. (It’s doubtful because nothing has been changed.)

Still no word back from the city’s Parks Department. See new post.


Part 2 with update from the NYC Parks Department here.

 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

angela May 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Absolutely shameful. I noticed the ever widening cracks at the seams during mid winter. If they’ve barricaded the area it may mean that they’re going to be there for quite a while.

On the bright side, at least the smaller park plaza configuration prevents NYU from holding their neighborhood choking graduation in the park.

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Georgia May 17, 2011 at 8:58 am

Oh dear, another loss of play space in the park.

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Matty Lips May 30, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I play here all summer with my friends. We jump in the fountain, listen to great music, laugh and soak up the good vibes of Washington Square Park. I can’t believe they have shut down the fountain, especially because summer is about to begin. It is my last year before I and all my friends go off to college and would really like to know if we will be able to play in the park before September creeps around.

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Matty Lips June 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I AM SO GLAD THEY FIXED IT! We are back in action. =D

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cathryn June 13, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Matty, So glad you came back! I meant to write back to you to let you know.

Enjoy!

Cathryn.

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