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Henry Bowen Anthony Fountain


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ProJo reports that the Henry Bowen Anthony Fountain in Lippitt Park will be restored this summer with funds from the city ($112,000), the Summit Neighborhood Association ($10,000), and The Champlin Foundations ($58,900).

The fountain was built in 1940 in honor of Senator (1859-1884) and Governor (1849-1851) Henry Bowen Anthony. The city took the fountain out of comission in 1982 due to high operating costs.

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14 Responses to Henry Bowen Anthony Fountain

  1. Dan January 7, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    It will be nice to have that fountain operating again. With the farmers market now running adjacent to the fountain Saturday mornings at Lippitt Park will be hopping.

  2. Marc Doughty January 7, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    I’m not sure ‘nice’ is worth $112,000 providence tax dollars right now. I miss the fountain, but by my estimates, that fountain would have to raise land values $4.3 million to pay for the restoration alone. Maybe that’s a win over ten years if property values go up $430,000 nearby, but I don’t think they will. Running the fountain will cost a lot of money going-forward, too.

    Now is not the time to be spending this kind of loot on designer drapes.

  3. jencoleslaw January 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    Marc: You may be right but honestly providence can certainly use a few pick-me-ups here and there and if there was money in the capital expense budget or some parks department maintenance budget that was earmarked for something like this anyway, I say go for it.

    With a grant from Champlin and the money from the neighborhood it is a nice public/private partnership to get something like this back on line. To me there was nothing more demoralizing in PVD than when stuff would fall into disrepair (fountains, arches, parks etc).

    I am going to guess (because i’m not an economist) that having working amenities in Providence’s parks and neighborhoods are actually good for property values and local businesses.

  4. Jef Nickerson January 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    I think I would agree with Jen here and look at this as a kind of ‘you have to spend money to make money’ type thing.

    A city and its relationship to its citizens is much like a business. Happy employees help a business thrive, same with a city. One thing that makes me a little uncomfortable is this is happening on the East Side. Voters who donate to campaigns and people with time to form neighborhood groups and raise money get results. The rest of the city, where these qualities do not exist…

  5. Dan January 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    The fountain refurbishment was the idea of Summit residents who brought it to the city and worked to secure the funding to offset the overall cost. If not for their work it would not be happening. As for the “East Side” issue, there have been playgrounds, water parks and park improvements made all over the city. If you drive down 95 the new soccer field near Meeting St. School is a new city facility. The newest city parks are in Olneyville and South Providence. I have worked with Bob McMahon, the current Superintendent. From tree planting on up, he is a big advocate for seeing that money available for improvement is distributed evenly.

  6. Jef Nickerson January 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    I certainly do not mean to discount the efforts of the residents, and I outlined in the post the money they raised directly and through grants, but the fact remains that the residents in this area have a better ability than some residents of other areas of the city to raise such funds. I mean other areas of the city primary concerns for fundraising are food and shelter, not fountains. The political power on the East Side undeniably gets them more attention.

    I’m also not saying that nothing ever happens in other parts of the city, but the political power of the East Side is undeniable, and the results are clear. Can’t fault the residents for wielding their power, I just wish there were more Bob McMahon’s in the city government.

  7. Dan January 7, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    Sorry. A little abrupt. Just meant to point out that sometimes it takes a grass root movement to get things done. Actually, there is a lot of funding available for improving the parks in the less wealthy areas. One entity Kaboom has backed a lot of playground building in the City and most of the it started from requests at the neighborhood level. On the East Side they cry for fountains. In the West End they want playgrounds.

    link

  8. Jef Nickerson January 7, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    I like playgrounds, I feel like they are if you build it, they will come for under utilized parks. I look at Garibaldi, where the arch is on Federal Hill, and think, if there were a playground there, there might actually be people in that park. There are not too many families with kids in the area, but I think when people come to eat, they’d use it. Lots of families eat at Angelo’s for instance, and I could see those people with tots in tow bringing the kids to the park.

    Also, the few people who use the park now tend to be elderly people from Dominica Manor. Mixing the generations would be good.

  9. Dan January 7, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    how about a nice little track at Garibaldi so the old folks can race their rascals and their hover-rounds. Everyone needs some play time.

  10. Jef Nickerson January 7, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    Like slow-speed roller derby? Awesome!

  11. Dan January 7, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    They can trick out their vehicles with flames and skulls, get some local sponsors. Like NASCAR on Metamucil.

  12. Marc Doughty January 8, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    I just don’t think Lipitt (sp?) Park’s fountain, which has been defunct for almost three decades, is the right place to be spending $120k of city money, help from neighborhood organizations or not. Would you buy me a $10 dollar lunch if I gave you two bucks?

    I live nearby, it’s a six minute walk from my house. I’m up there all the time for the farmer’s market and to walk my dog, but I can think of a lot more things that need attention, like the Federal Hill arch.

    And budgeted or not, we’re in the midst of a huge crunch. I had money saved-up for Costa Rica this year, but I’m not going to be going, because it would be irresponsible to splurge on a vacation when there are things I need to do with that money to keep my house warm, dry, and habitable. The fountain was shut-off to save money in a crunch. I have this sick feeling that our political leaders are more interested in a grab-and-spend then they are in managing the problems at-hand.

    You do have to spend money to make money, but that doesn’t mean that spending is always a good idea. There seems to be a pervasive idea in the air these days that we can spend ourselves out of fiscal crisis, that a dollar spent is two dollars earned; as if someone read the first chapter of a Keynes book, but put it down before they realized that deficit spending is a means to an end, an investment, not a vehicle for growth in and of itself.

    The fountain should have been fixed when cash was really available, years ago. It should have been an option to shut the water off in 2009. Either way, I look forward to it running again, I’m just disappointed that it’s happening now.

  13. Andrew January 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    Over the years, the cost of the fountain the cost will work out to less than a penny every time it makes someone smile. Crunch that.

  14. Jef Nickerson January 8, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    I bet it will be a nickel to make me smile. I’m pretty curmudgeonly.

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