Friday, January 1, 2010

Colonel Pope Fountain

The 73 acre Olmstead designed Pope Park was given to the city by its greatest industrialist Colonel Albert Pope in the 1890's. The Colonel was also the city's largest employer and the land was well used as the central place of recreation for thousands of workers who lived in the immediate area. Pope's factories pumped out America's first manufactured bicycles as well as automobiles both gas and electric.

Though Hartford's well know literary figures such as Twain and Stowe have large public historical centers flocked to by millions from around the globe, Colonel Pope has this one public commemoration: a 15 foot obelisk fountain, sculpted of granite.

The fountain mechanism has clearly not been used in years. The basin has been turned into a planter which also has not been planted in in years.

Rear view shows water effect and spouting fish.

The rear of the obelisk shows the inscription "Erected by Friends," which included the lawyer Charles Gross and Architect George Keller.

Although millions have been spent in the past few years on improving Pope Park including a new parking lot, gate and playscape, Colonel Pope's monument sits in woeful neglect.

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