Public Water Features

As far as public art goes, I would have to say that water features are my favorite (with the exception of maybe functional art like bus shelters, etc.). In my meanderings around and about, a good water feature will always stop me in my tracks. One of my favorite attractions in Rome was Trevi Fountain. The Bellagio's fountain in Vegas captures me. At the mall in Pattaya Thailand, I sat and watched a funky little water feature for hours (while I ate $0.65 oreo blizzards by the dozen).

It isn't just in far away places that water features add to the interest of an urban landscape. Just the other day in Seattle, with a couple hours to kill, I thought I would do a quick tour to see what I could find. Pictured to the right is a calm little fountain next to Key Area at the Seattle Center. Also at the Seattle center is the famous International Fountain which, esp. in the summer, doubles as functional art keeping people cool. Downtown has a couple neat little fountains like this one at the Baimbridge Ferry Terminal, this serene waterfall at the birth place of UPS (privately maintained), and one of my favorites at 5th and James. Also vying for a top spot in my favorites are some of the basalt fountains at I didn't get a chance to trek up to Cal Anderson Park to snap a picture of that great fountain.

So next time you are scurrying through a city with your head down, look up and enjoy some of the public water features!
Friday April 20 2007File under: misc, pics

Toggle Comments (8)comment?
on Fri 20th Apr, 2007 10:59 am PDT Saxtor said:
I too pay attention to water features, but less for the aesthetic (though not always) and more for the sound and the feeling they elicit. The UPS one is a great example of this. When you walk by that place, you're drawn in by the heavy vegetation and obvious park-ness of it. But once inside, the sound is completely different than the cacophony of the city noises. Water features can express many different types of sound, this particular one suggests being in the forest.

Also, when you walk into the enclosed area of the UPS park (or in proximity to most water features), the air temperature drops a measurable amount that tells you you are in a different place. The smell also changes (sometimes to chlorine). What amazes me is every time I have passed the UPS park, I have only seen one or two people at a time sitting and enjoying it.

Also, I have been by the Amazon fountains countless times on my way to Uwajimaya from the train station, but it wasn't until you brought to my attention that that was Amazon did I have the foggiest clue the purpose of that building.
on Fri 20th Apr, 2007 04:28 pm PDT per said:
there's a project in Vancouver by Arthur Erikson that employs the water feature in a stealth way. It's a courtyard bldng where the lower level facing the street becomes a sheet of water that pours out of the 2nd floor above. visually it's open as the main entrance, but the water completely eradicates any noise pollution from the clanky vroom vrooms happenin at street level.
on Fri 20th Apr, 2007 10:16 pm PDT Mom said:
Imagine a huge waterfall in Spring during the early melt, imagine surround-sound and then you can imagine what a large water feature does in the center of a bustling city. Downtown Minneapolis has such a place as well, next to Symphony Hall--a place to really get away from the city. Also, remember that touch-of-the-wild fountain at REI.
on Fri 20th Apr, 2007 10:58 pm PDT Sweet Julie said:
I like cascadas, personally.
on Sat 21st Apr, 2007 04:04 pm PDT amanda said:
what about the one in your own backyard?? i like that one too
on Sun 22nd Apr, 2007 11:56 am PDT Sean said:
I enjoy peeing from high places.Wren enjoys peeing down his leg. I have pictures.
on Sun 22nd Apr, 2007 09:03 pm PDT Wren said:
Speaking of water features, Sean, I happened by the Seattle International fountain again this weekend and realize this was a much better angle for a photo.
on Sun 22nd Apr, 2007 09:38 pm PDT Sean said:
Uhhhh that's a lot of peepee.I like the Swiss Family Robinson water gathering contraption.

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