Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Fountain at Point State Park Is Spraying Again

If Pittsburgh had a symbol, what would it be?  The Monongahela and Duquesne inclines?  The three rivers themselves?  A folding chair holding a parking spot?

All good choices, but I think the answer for me would be the Fountain at Point State Park.  The Golden Triangle is set off by this majestic fountain spraying high in the air to frame every aerial shot you see of the City.  Since 2009, the Fountain has been out of service for intense repairs, but it re-opened last week at the start of the Pittsburgh Arts Festival.

As per the Wiki link above, the Fountain has been rehabbed at a cost of $9.6 million.  People at the Arts Festival, when we went on Sunday, were glad to see it back in service.  Although it's been gone so long that people were apparently confused and thought it was a communal Lazy River to jump in with their clothes on and wade around.  I felt like we were at the Ganges River in New Delhi.

The Fountain is served by the mysterious "fourth river" of Pittsburgh, which is actually an underground aquifer that feeds many of the wells in the region and originates all the way up in Moraine State Park.  It is said that it takes water 40 years to travel in the aquifer from Moraine to the Allegheny, so enjoy that vintage 1973 water if you see the refurbished fountain this year.

Back in the 90's, I believe if my recollection is correct, there was a pie-in-the-sky idea to run a cable car from Mount Washington down to the Fountain's end of Point State Park.  In addition to being tacky in general, I always felt that would have taken away from the simple beauty of Point State Park and the Fountain.

You don't miss something until it's gone.  Then you really appreciate it when it comes back.  Good to have you back, Fountain.

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