Monday, August 27, 2007

Riverscape Flowers and Fountain

I was downtown for the Lebanese Festival this weekend and passed by Riverscape, and was thinking that this park is pretty close to European quality when it comes to landscaping.

The most “European’ thing about it is the flowers. American urban parks usually don’t have a lot of flowering plants as landscape features, unless they are an arboretum or a special feature like a rose garden. Riverscape is different as there is a quite a selection or ornamentals and flowers, in planting beds and in hanging baskets. They are not slacking off on the maintenance, either, as the plantings are weeded and watered and tended to...Bill at Dayton Most Metro has a good blog post (and fab pix) about the big fountain where the rivers come together at Deeds Point, on how they are fixing the fountain controls so it will work again. There has been a lot of the usual negativity and whining about the fountain and why built one in the first place.

The idea for the fountain, like the rest of Riverscape, came from the public via workshops conducted by EDAW, the design consultant. This was a sort of winnowing process, where attendees got to vote on the various design concepts, which the consultant developed out in concepts, and then there was more winnowing. The public input was an important part of the design process, which might account for why Riverscape is fairly successful.

So the design, including the fountain, wasn’t something from out-of-the-blue. The technical problems with the fountain seem to be something that can be corrected. One of the potentially fatal flaws would be silty water clogging the pumps (which is what did in the Ohio River fountain in Louisville). This isn’t the situation in Dayton as the fountains take their water from wells (though there is a hard water issue with that source), and the tech problems seem to be more with the nozzles and controls.

When the fountain is on it is a sight to behold. The sucker is big. You can see it from US 35 coming into the city from the east, shooting up over the roofs and trees of the east side and competing with the downtown skyscrapers. Presumably it’s visible from afar on I-75, too, coming in from the north.

If they do get it working they should leave it on longer, or post a schedule so folks can know when to see it.

1 comment:

Foreverglow said...

Yeah, there's no doubt that they do a killer job with the landscaping around Riverscape. It's impressive.

It's weird how everyone is so negative about the fountains. I think they're cool. They should be shot off every 10–15 minutes. The view from 35 as they're spraying is something to see!