Sharring experiences in urban infrastructure delivery.

Blog Archives

Art in the Fountains

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

Many of the locations of art in the sidewalk is where the art is part of a fountain. When reading here about the installation and components of the fountains I have, or will as those posts are completed, talk about the art components. The Cotswold program that added the fountains was assisted by the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County. (more…)

The Baseball Fountain

May 05, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Art, Sidewalk Fountains

BaseBallFountainWithVault.jpgAt Crawford and Preston (map) is my favorite fountain–a 5-foot diameter bronze baseball across Crawford St. from the entrance to Minute Maid Baseball Park. The setting is to depict a baseball hit out of the Park–of course by one of the Astros– that landed in the sidewalk, breaking water lines and the water gushing up almost onto the broken sidewalk. There have been thousands of photographs taken in front of it and more than a few with kids on top of it. It is part of a wonderful memory for many people.  (more…)

Fountains–Preston at Main Street

May 04, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Art, Sidewalk Fountains

There are two stone “vessels” either side of Main Street on the north side of Preston (map). Both stone urns were designed, built and installed by Brad Goldberg, an award winning sculptor/artist who works with stone. Be sure to read the posts here about his two vessels at Congress and Main and the “Bayou” in the fountain on Preston between Fannin and San Jacinto. All pieces are part of the City of Houston’s Art Collection.DSC_0197.JPG


Fountains-Congress at Main

May 02, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Art, Sidewalk Fountains

Artist created carved stone fountain and bench. Note mechanical vault hatch in foreground.

There are four fountains on the north end of Main Street in the historic district–two at the Congress and two at the Preston intersections in downtown Houston. The center piece of each is a stone urn created by the master artist and sculptor Brad Goldberg. Brad’s web site presents him as “an artist who sees his work as a fusion between sculpture, the landscape and the built environment”. You will find five fountains in this blog where the centerpiece is his work–the four on Main Street plus the “Bayou” on Preston between Fannin and San Jacinto Streets. All pieces are part of the City of Houston’s Art Collection. (more…)

Sidewalk Fountains

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

Fountain with Stone Urn--Preston at Main
Fountain with Stone Urn

Sidewalk fountains are challenging to design and build as well as to maintain. The pumps and chemical feed equipment with the controls must be in a vault under the sidewalk and someone plucking out the trash must be regularly patrolling the basin.

The vault has to be connected to the city water system and the electrical service. Then you have to connect the vault to the fountain.

Once you have that figured out then think about how the fountain is arranged as it will be a trap for all things in the street that blow around–trash, leaves, flyers from the bars, etc.

Because of the trash you know you will need grates over the water-return ports but be careful that the grates are made of something that is not re-sellable like brass.

You must have lights in the bottom under the water. Be sure the lights are made of material that is also not sellable and that cannot be removed easily. Yes, we have had then removed while underwater.

There were many lessons learned with this very nice addition to the sidewalk  and streetscape. Look at the other posts for our sidewalk fountains in downtown Houston.

The fountains and sidewalks were part of the Cotswold Program by the Houston Downtown Management District and the City of Houston. Maintenance of the fountains is provided by
the City of Houston’s Convention and Entertainment Department.