Monday, September 23, 2013

fountain of youth

Brooklyn financier Frank Bailey was just 21 years old in the year our ClockTower was built.

In the years that followed he became fabulously wealthy and he did a lot for the borough of Brooklyn.

He founded the Museum of NY, he was chairman of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and he was a trustee for the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences.

But the splashiest thing he ever did was to fund the Bailey Fountain in Brooklyn’s GrandArmyPlaza.

Commissioned in 1928 for $125,000, that same amount today would yield about $1.7 million dollars.

You can build a very nice fountain for almost 2 million dollars and they did, a full 25 feet high. It's by American artist Eugene Savage. 

The fountain was completed in 1932 on a nautical theme that includes Neptune...

and Triton...

and other figures representing “wisdom and felicity.”

Rehabbed in 1956, repatined in 1965 and wholly restored in 2002, today it’s a popular playground for kids and a backdrop for weddings, prom photos and such.

Hanging out downwind on a hot, humid day isn’t so terrible either. 

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