, Salem, MA

Local News

October 17, 2012

Salem to keep fabled fountain

SRA endorses design for section of pedestrian mall

SALEM — Nathaniel Hawthorne, were he alive today, could breathe a sigh of relief.

The Salem Redevelopment Authority has no plans to take down the fountain on the Essex Street pedestrian mall that was erected about 40 years ago at the site of the town pump Hawthorne immortalized in his short story, “A Rill From the Town Pump.”

To the contrary, the SRA last night endorsed the conceptual design of an improvement plan for a section of the well-worn mall, which not only retains but restores the famous Salem Town Pump Fountain in Townhouse Square.

The possibility of razing the old fountain, located along Washington Street across from the “Bewitched” statue, had come up at several public meetings.

What little controversy there was last night surrounded plans to restore the fountain by making changes to it. Among the alterations planned are removal of both the concrete base and the pool, or stone-lined basin, that fills with bubbles when pranksters dump in soap.

Tim Love, a principal with Utile, a Boston landscape architecture firm hired by the city, outlined plans to improve the lighting and restore the bronze relief on a fountain sculpture that has an inscription and likeness of Hawthorne. These changes and others, including fixing two public drinking fountains, will draw more attention to the fountain, according to Love.

“We’re going to create a much better context for the fountain,” he said, “which will make it much better loved.”

Andrew Carr, a resident of the McIntire Historic District, said he was concerned that no mention had been made of the mall’s original landscape architect, the late John F. Collins, who won awards for his mall design.

Carr contended that the water basin the city wants to remove creates “the sense of a spring” at a spot where there once was a town spring.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later
Comments Tracker