Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A New Beginning...

This last weekend was full of activity. Among a lot of things there was a grand reopening of one of the iconic sites in Jacksonville. As usual, click each photo for a better view.

Friendship fountain was completed in 1965 and became a tourist attraction because of it's size and height. The fountain’s basin is 200 feet (61 m) in diameter holding 500,000 gallons of water. And, had three pumps with a combined 750 horsepower (560 kW) that could push 17,000 gallons per minute; some streams as tall as a 10-story building.

A lot happened between 1965 and now and gradually the fountain lost a good bit of it's luster. People actually forgot about it because over the years the pumps began to fail and no one remembered the excitement generated by the original fountain.

There was a great deal of back and forth within the City debating if in tough economic times the fountain should be restored. Ultimately $3.1 million was spent to replace the pumps and Saturday was the Grand Reopening. I skipped the opening ceremony during the day and went at night to get a few shots that I think illustrate the majesty of the restored fountain.

The pictures turned out great but only give one dimension of the fountain. This was an instance where video really captures the essence of the restoration. I hope you enjoy the clip below because it is a wonder to behold.

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