Thursday, January 21, 2016

WDT: Mayor Calls for Demise of Warhol Era Fountain

      Change is coming. City Council is being asked to scrap the 1960s symbol of urban renewal, the fountain at Lachenauer Plaza, damaged late last year when a motorist rammed the structure, sending it to the repair shop.
Fountain Following Strike by Motorist
      Mayor Butler has suggested getting rid of it, as he says he never cared for it anyway.
      The fountain is repairable and I assume the drivers insurance provides for property damage claims, so I hope the city made the claim.
      The traffic island and park was named after the Mayor in office at the time of urban renewal, a time of change and transition in downtown. The fountain was typical of its era, and a few years back was given a new paint job by artist Jeff Rule.
Mayor Ted Rand and Community Leaders at Dedication
       The interesting debate is whether history only includes the Victorian period  or whether other art and sculpture can be accomodated.
       One Councilman wants the fountain reinstalled in front of City Hall where it is said it will fit in better, but that would be costly and likely not covered by insurance.
       The Mayor wants to put a long forgotten horse trough on Lachenauer Plaza.
               http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/watertown-officials-consider-not-fixing-damaged-downtown-fountain-20160121

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

The mayor who just let an historic building get demolished on the north side, without a peep from him? Now he has his attention on downtown aesthetics that don't jive with his taste. Way to prioritize.

When urban renewal was in progress, how many things were destroyed that were not much older than 50 years, like this fountain is? With the thought that they were demolishing old tacky worthless eyesores?

Just my two cents said...

While I have never loved the fountain, it has a home and should stay where it is. Moving it up to city hall is dumb as the library has two fountains in front already and this one certainly would not aesthetically compliment them in any way.

I have to agree with the other poster who finds it sad that the Butler had nothing to say about the Bull getting torn down but has time to worry about a fountain. Butler should worry about the big stuff and the Bull was big stuff. I have a feeling that the city is going to be sued by the owner with his "go fund" me money for tearing down that building when it was perfectly salvageable. Where were the DANC guru's on that decision. Totally confused by that decision.

Oh, and I would love to reuse the horse trough but perhaps down at the Butler Pavilion for all of the Amish to use when they are in the city. The Square is congested enough with monuments and such, no need for a horse trough there.

Anonymous said...

I personally never liked the fountain but if the insurance company will pay for restoration then that's the route the city should take. Mayor Butler ran on a platform of fiscal savings for the city. Now less than month in and he's already breaking that promise.


The aesthetic of the fountain in current times shouldn't be the deciding factor on its fate. Let it remain as a time capsule to a groovier period in city history. After all the color tax payers really care about is green in their wallets.

Anonymous said...

As a frequent visitor to Watertown , i always wondered why that absurdity called a fountain was put there to begin with . It is not attractive and does not fit the architectural ambiance of the immediate environs .

Anonymous said...

Put the insurance money in the general fund , and take that fountain over to the scrap yard on pearl street, it is just a bad reminder off all the beautiful old buildings they tore done in Watertown during the urban renewal era . A Nice Red oak would look good in that spot.

Anonymous said...

Leave that garish thing behind where it belongs.
Joe Jr. should be more worried about how many stories the soon to be built Mercy parking garage has.

ray lear said...

While I would have loved anyone who would have been able to stop the building from being knocked down 7.19, we all know that if the owner can not promise any solution to make it safe for everyone on that street, including me and you, it had to go. But yes any questions, and or answers from the standing Mayor would have been excepted. He seems more interested in bed bugs these days. What is there to do? I didn't mark his name. I didn't want all this great change we are getting. I liked steady Fred leadership. We fraked ourselves on this one. Should have got out harder on why change isn't always good. I hate to say (I TOLD YOU SO). But I told you, part timer isn't going to be good. We had a full time man on the job , and we traded him for a part timer. That's the fine change we excepted.

Anonymous said...

Say it ain't so Joe. First you throw the firefighters under the bus, then you screw that bar owner and now you are going after Watertown land marks? can you say recall?

Anonymous said...

I am shocked! Very unlike Mr. Butler to actually take a stand on anything...

Anonymous said...

Take the insurance money, fix it and put it back the way it was. Putting the trough at his fathers pavilion is a great idea, at least the pavilion would have a use then. Although, useless mayor, useless building so makes sense. So where are we going to put the next Butler Pavilion? Must be someplace that needs another useless pavilion

Anonymous said...

When the fountain was repainted in that multi-colored abstract design it ruined it. The reason it was a black panel was so the trickling water could be seen. That was nice to look at. I never really saw the fountain for more than a few seconds because I was driving and why would I slow down or stop to gaze at the trickle? Maybe the fountain was always in the wrong place!

Anonymous said...

Way to go "Fraking" Ray,you give the guy three weeks before declaring he must be an awful mayor compared to your choice.Why don't people give the man a little time before acting like spoiled children whose mommy didn't give them a bottle.That bar owner should have protected his ownself by keeping his insurance going,and if the unstable building collapsed on one of your family or friends while waiting for him to figure it out,you all would be going nuts on the city.I went past,and you could see the top leaning.Maybe some of you second guessers should have put up the money to replace the roof,then the city wouldn't have had to act..but where were you? just bitching that "somebody" ought to do something.

Anonymous said...

Ray, Ray, we accepted, that what you're trying to say? The fountain was fugly, no loss.

Anonymous said...

Hey 3:19, we could name the new dog park after Joe jr. Could even have little dog doo pick up bags with Joe jr's name on them. Now that would be truth in advertising.

Anonymous said...

I've driven around the square thousands of times and have no idea what this fountain looks like. That's how important it was.
I'm also amused that we call things 50 to 100 years old historic. What does that make our former mayor?

Anonymous said...

The design of the fountain was meant to represent the older downtown and Urban Renewal, with the brick of the old combined with modern design, the Gear on top represented the manufacturing base in the city, the water showed what powered Watertown's development and the black color represented the darkness of the Black River which flowed through the city.

Painting the fountain the gaudy colors really detracted from the original artists concept and intent.

Ray said...

7.43 I agree from the start the building had to go. Da! Read? I also can see the writing on the wall. We have a back door government in place. Deals made and promises being handled. If you want to hide your head, do so.

Anonymous said...

Your head is hid too Ray, where the sun ain't shining. The conspiracy crap is getting old, someone is feeding you a line and you're spitting it out.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit Ray,if you suddenly see a conspiracy in this old building going down,you are even crazier than your moniker.Grow up and give the new mayor a chance before acting like a spoiled child,even the blog owner doesn't go off on him like you do.

Anonymous said...

All that conspiracy CRAP? Just having two prominent Republicans to head our city is conspiracy enough. bro. You need to turn around to change the view of where YOU are looking. This council will give you changes all right-for the good of those who want to EXTERMINATE anyone who does not think like them!

Anonymous said...

The sky's not falling there, chicken little, calm down. There's a good mix on council and a town small enough that the mayor couldn't pass gas without it being blasted on local airwaves at least twice a day. If you're that afraid of conspiracy there's not a dome over the city, move and pick up crazy Ray on your way. Some of us look forward to the future.

Ray said...

Again read. I understand the building had to go. I also see the deals being paid up. Don't want to believe? Don't!

Anonymous said...

The building did not have to go. If it were located anywhere south of the Black River it would have been saved and would still be standing. Where is the evidence that the building had to come down? What person gave that opinion that has any credibility on such matters? The city code Nazi? The wet behind the ears Peter Principle city engineer? The company that took in $188k for tearing it down?

Whoever is writing that demolition check could have written a check less than half that amount and had the roof replaced and a few lose brick on the parapet made safe.

You idiots spend your lives pushing pencils, tying ties or looking up part numbers for the parts that constantly break on American cars. You don't know nothin about nothin beyond dat.

Ray said...

I know if the the thing came crashing down in the streets and killed one person someone would be on the hook for millions, not thousands of dollars. But there we go again, using a thought over feelings. Dam us for caring about public safety.

Anonymous said...

Gee Ray, I drove by your house last week and it looks like its going to crash into the street and kill even more people. And I got closer to your house than the city officials got to the roof on the bar. I do give you credit for using the "think of the children" nonsense. Grasshopper you are ready to move to the golf course.

Ray said...

My house is sound, must have seen something else. I give you it is not the best looking home in the hood. But the roof is new. The walls are all standing. I just need to save up for some cheap siding like the rest did. One thing I know it wasn't my house falling in the street, my place isn't near the street.