Prismatic Electric Fountain in Ferril Lake - Denver, CO City Park
Posted by: Outspoken1
N 39° 44.770 W 104° 57.095
13S E 504148 N 4399586
Quick Description: Rebuilt Prismatic Electric Fountain in Ferril Lake located in Denver's City Park
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 8/22/2008 4:30:48 PM
Waymark Code: WM4GNC
Revitalized Fountain Soars in City Park By Joey Bunch
The Denver Post, August 20, 2008
Barack Obama is not William Jennings Bryan, and Speer is a boulevard not the mayor, but the Prismatic Electric Fountain in Ferril Lake is back with a bang. As the Denver Municipal Band played "Stars and Stripes Forever," hundreds cheered the ceremonial relighting of the city's dancing lights in the lake tonight. Columns of water colored red, white and blue burst against the charcoal night, like fireworks, then the 90-foot "Old Faithful" geyser rose from the middle and swept to the left to salute its return to the city.
Denverites cooed at every change in color in the dancing spires, minutes after Mayor John Hickenlooper told the pumped-up crowd, "This is part of our history; now it's part of our future." $3 million computerized fountain replaced a marvel of early 20th century technology that lit up before the 1908 Democratic National Convention, when Bryan was the nominee and Robert Speer was mayor. The original was created by the famed fountain designer Frederick W. Darling. Denver becomes the first city to ever recreate his work, said Larry Kerecman, a design engineer who founded the Friends of the Electric Fountain and a consultant for the project. "There's no other fountain like it in the world." he said.
Denver Water kicked in $450,000 from interest earnings off land sales earmarked for such community treasures. The utility's manager Chips Barry called the fountain "a fabulous asset to the city." From mid-May through September, the fountain will put on a different show each half hour.
It had been dark for more than a decade, limping along, falling apart from age and use, By the 1990s the fountain pumped out only a single unchanging stream, and eventually that broke, too. In 2006, the city included the project in a $28 million drainage project involving the park, the lake and surrounding neighborhoods. The fountain was demolished in December of that year. When the electria fountain made its debut on May 30, 1908, Denverites delighted to the modern technology. In the park's pavilion tower, a city employee sat at a rolltop desk and pulled and pushed levers to choreograph 12 separate geysers and 11 brightly colored beams in a dance set to the music of the city band. More than 4,400 gallons of water a minute sprayed through the fountain across the 1,500-watt pillars of colored lights. Visit Friends of the Electric Fountain website for historical information on the original fountain and photos of the demolition and new construction of the new fountain.
The new fountain is the same size and shape of its predecessor, but times, and fountains, have changed. The shows are now run programmed into a computer in a maintenance building, and the lights are power-saving LED, in keeping with Denver's greener image.
Note: The above coordinates are taken from the band stage on the west side of the lake. Parking can be found at N39° 44.747, W104° 57.262 and adjacent streets in the park.