Sharring experiences in urban infrastructure delivery.

The Manhole Fountain

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.

The “manhole lids” and the wells are built of poured in place concrete then covered with stone. The wells have up-lights and large-volume jets. The original wells were designed to drain completely and hold no water. That gave us an algae fill all day with the trash that blew in and sitting on the bottom soggy and … not what we wanted.

We built a circular concrete berm around the drains to create a water pool. That helped to create the effect of a manhole full of water and the trash floated into the downwind corner.Blown-off manhole cover fountain

If you go there, or look closely in the photo, you will see palm trees. The answer to the inevitable question of “why palm trees” is that the adjacent building faces the cross street and has palm trees on the side and along the next street. So, these palms continue that theme. Other than this effort to compliment¬† an established a theme you will find only sycamores trees on Preston St. .

The fountains were built as part of the Cotswold Program by the Houston Downtown Management District and the City of Houston. Operation and maintenance of the fountains is provided by the City of Houston’s Convention and Entertainment Department.


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