The Rotary Riverfront Fountain

Expo '74 and Riverfront Park Tour - Stop 13

The magnificent fountain in front of you, almost never transpired from vision to reality. When Riverfront Park was renovated following Expo '74, an entertaining children's fountain, as well as an aesthetically pleasurable art piece was conceptualized for the grand entrance to the park. Funding was limited however, so a temporary flower bed of colorful annuals was built in the fountain's stead. Prior to the Expo', where you stand today was occupied by dusty railroad tracks and rundown warehouses. These railroad tracks were so close to the Spokane River and the Falls that they really discouraged public access to the water and proved to be a great nuisance for city planners. In December 2004, some 30 years later, the flower bed was relocated to install the Rotary Riverfront Fountain and plaza that adorns Riverfront Park's entrance today. The fountain was officially dedicated "to the people of Spokane" in 2005.

How tall is the fountain? The stainless steel columns before you are each 24 feet tall. A 30 foot diameter ring is held up by these 5 stainless steel columns. In the warmer seasons, some jets spray towards the middle of the fountain creating a beautiful dome of waterfalls, other jets shoot water upwards, some mist, and a few spray sideways. In all, there are 40 overhead jets. Keeping in mind the environmental theme of Expo' 74, the artist designed the fountain to conserve water by a filtration and recirculation process.

The fountain's sculptures were designed by Harold Balazs and Bob Perron. More information about Harold Balazs can be located at the Untitled Lantern stop or the Centennial Sculpture stop.


Images

Image Courtesy of Spokane City Parks View File Details Page

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Audio

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Cite this Page:

Lacey Sipos, “The Rotary Riverfront Fountain,” Spokane Historical, accessed June 25, 2017, http://spokanehistorical.org/items/show/195.
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