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Famous Fountain in Providence to Flow Again

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

By Philip Marcelo

Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE — The historic granite fountain at the head of Blackstone Boulevard will be restored this summer with money from the city, the Summit Neighborhood Association and The Champlin Foundations.

Mayor David N. Cicilline’s office said on Monday the Parks Department was recently awarded a $58,900 grant from Champlin. It will be added to about $112,000 the department has allocated for the project and $10,000 that the neighborhood association raised.

The $180,000 project, which will be put out to bid in late February, calls for installing new plumbing, lighting and a water recirculation and filtration system. The fountain has been in disuse since 1982, when the city shut off its water due to rising operating costs, according to city Parks Supt. Robert McMahon.

“We have to assume after 28 years that some of the existing brass and copper piping within the granite fountain structure is deficient … The piping itself is not a significant cost, but the process of dismantling the fountain and putting it back together will be expensive,” he said.

Designed in a modern style by the Providence firm Jackson, Robertson & Adams, the fountain is the centerpiece of Lippitt Park, where Hope Street meets Blackstone Boulevard, near the Pawtucket city line.

It was erected in 1940 in memory of the late Henry Bowen Anthony, a U.S. senator (1859 to 1884), Rhode Island governor (1849-1851), and publisher of The Providence Journal. He died in 1884 at 69.

When it is operational in June, the fountain will join three other public outdoor fountains in Providence: the Bajnotti fountain in Burnside Park (Kennedy Plaza), the DePasquale fountain in DePasquale Plaza (Atwells Avenue) and the Clements fountain in Jacqueline Clements Park (Friendship and Dudley streets).

pmarcelo@projo.com

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