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Photos:
Roving Rube

August 29, 2003

Reservoir Fountain, Central Park

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The Rube likes to pretend he is Dustin Hoffman in "Marathon Man" when he goes out jogging around the Central Park Reservoir ... And now, he is occasionally cooled by the mist from this newly turned-on fountain.

Five plumes of water, representing each of New York Citys five boroughs, shoot 60 feet into the air ... This is only the third time in its history that the fountain has been activated. It was built in 1917 to commemorate the citys First Water Tunnel of the new Catskill water system. That same year, strong winds brought complaints from New Yorkers who were being splashed by the spray, and the fountain was shut off for the next 80 years. In 1998, it was turned on once again to celebrate construction of the Third Water Tunnel, which passes beneath Central Park. However, the fountain had to be shut off a few months later because of a drought in the city. Now, with the citys ample water supply, the fountain can remain on for several months. (Central Park website)

This pictures are unfortunately misleading as the fountain is almost entirely obscured by a chain link fence; the Rube obtained them by pushing his lens carefully through the links. The fence was necessary when the reservoir actually served to hold NYC's water supply.

But, good news! The fence is even now being replaced with a shorter and much more attractive four foot fence which resembles the original one from 1864.

See also:

(portrait) (in context) (1-jpg) (2-jpg) (3-jpg)





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