Sharring experiences in urban infrastructure delivery.

Archive for the ‘Sidewalk Fountains’

The New Avenida de las Americas

May 09, 2017 By: Tom Davis Category: Amenities, Misc Urban Infrastructure, Sidewalk Features, Sidewalk Fountains, Special Surfaces

Avenida de las Americas (ADLA) was originally to be a major north-south boulevard on the east side of downtown but is now a street only seven blocks long and can never be longer. Why? The best place for the new stadium for the Astros Baseball team (known as Minute Maid Park) was the old passenger rail station yard and that blocked the northern expansion of ADLA. Not many years later the search for the best place to locate a new multi-purpose arena was found and hence the Toyota Center blocked the southern expansion of ADLA. (more…)

The Trench Fountains

January 07, 2010 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Fountains

The trench fountains–as I call them–are another of the series of fountains on Preston Street in downtown Houston."Trench" Fountain The purpose is to carry on the water theme of the Cotswold project on the signature street. The idea was that it represents a trench in the street with water bubbling up. The fountain works well and the sound of falling water is a pleasant background to the typical street sounds. (more…)


The Manhole Fountain

June 14, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Fountains

ThManhole cover fountains with conese fountains are not officially named the “manhole fountains” but that is appropriate as the intent was to depict two manholes where the lids were blown off during a heavy rain event–typical in a few places near here-and water gushing into the street. To add to the setting notice the “cones” -typically bright orange-surrounding the holes to warn cars. The cones are precast concrete and were also used as bollards in other areas on Preston St. See the article at this blog about the value of them as bollards. (more…)

The Bayou Fountain

May 23, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Art, Sidewalk Fountains, Special Surfaces

This fountain symbolizes the meandering bayous of the Houston area with their rising and falling water levels. The water from the adjacent pump/water treatment vault streams up a hole in the center of the large center stone. From the center channels are carved in winding paths and the water flows to the edge where the water runs down the rough side of the stone, through a grate and into the collection trench around the perimeter of the large stone. The water in the trench flows by gravity to the wet well that is part of the pump/water treatment vault.Bayou fountain with streams

The stone covered sidewalk around the center stone extend out around stone benches. The sidewalk stone has shallow wandering “bayous” continuing out from the center stone. The “bayou’s” bottoms are stained black. The fountain is circled by Mexican Sycamore trees found along the bayous in Houston. (more…)

The Wall Fountain

May 16, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Art, Sidewalk Fountains

The fountain I call the wall fountain is at the intersection of Smith and Preston Streets. It is a two-sided, stainless steel wall mounted on a stone covered concrete wall. The water is pumped into the space between the steel walls and flows quietly over both sides of the open top and down the outside of the steel.CIMG7469.JPG

The steel walls are supported by a structural steel frame. As you can see in the photo they have stainless steel “buttons” evenly spaced  to provide for minimal motion of the water while simulating the sound of water flowing around rocks in a stream. (more…)

The Picnic Fountains

May 16, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Art, Sidewalk Fountains

The two “picnic table” fountains were built in the focal point of two quarter-circle benches added to Market Square Park during its restoration in the 1990s. The benches are covered with painted tiles that depict a festive scene. The tiles are embedded in the concrete and were created by and installation overseen then by the artist Malou Flato of Austin, Texas.

CIMG7257.JPGThe “fountains”, added by the Cotswold project about 10 years later, are actually 1-inch deep circular pools with the bottom being more ceramics by Ms. Flato. She created a picnic table setting using the same colors are ceramics she used years before. Again she oversaw the placement of the tiles inside the concrete “table” built by the general contractor. This is a great use of art in a casual setting and very fitting for a neighborhood park. (more…)