October 4, 2016

Historic Fountains Find a New Home in Maine

I’m always on the lookout for unusual and exquisite pieces to decorate my homes.

This summer, I received word about two large fountains that were in need of a permanent residence. These fountains were actually the only two left of five, originally designed and produced as part of a United States Bicentennial celebration for Independence National Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Intrigued by the story, I scheduled a visit to see the fountains during a business trip in the area - and I loved them.

As the story goes... in the 1950s, the city of Philadelphia decided to recreate its original five public square layout developed by William Penn. In 1963, landscape architect, Dan Kiley, designed the five squares, each one represented by a fountain surrounded by large honey locust trees in park-like settings. For the Bicentennial, the international landscape architecture and urban design firm, OLIN, was commissioned to restore the five squares and reposition the famed Liberty Bell. The construction plan incorporated brick and marble walls as well as granite pools surrounding the fountains. Nearly 20-years ago, Independence Hall Park decided to change the area once again, removing the squares entirely and relocating Liberty Bell closer to Independence Hall. As for the fountains - two were moved to a nearby community garden, and the other three were returned to the foundry for recycling. Earlier this year, that garden sold the fountains and the new owner had them moved to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, not far from Longwood Gardens. I got them through the Firehouse Antiques Center in Galena, Maryland. And now, they're headed north to Maine.

Here are some photos of the fountains, and their journey to my home on Mount Desert Island - enjoy.