Renovating a Classic Fountain

Fountain at Night
Photo Courtesy of Fountain People

Atlanta’s Hurt Park and its iconic fountain have been fixtures in the city’s downtown for more than eight decades. Time had taken its toll and the site recently underwent an extensive renovation, including a full-scale fountain renovation.  
It’s always both a pleasure and a challenge when working on historic sites. That was certainly the case with the fountain at Hurt Park in Atlanta. The vintage fountain and surrounding park, which are located adjacent to the Georgia State University campus, were badly in need of a complete renovation. 

Fortunately, the city and university were committed to recreating this beautiful urban space and recapturing the fountain’s original magic. 
Hurt Park opened in 1940. At the time, it was the city’s first new downtown park since the 1860s. It was part of an urban renewal push between 1937 and 1942, when the city transformed its aging municipal auditorium and the surrounding area into a civic center that reflected Atlanta’s rising status as a convention destination and overall center of commerce. 
Funded in part by the Woodruff Foundation and planned in part by the WPA, Hurt Park and its fountain were designed by the noted landscape architect William C. Pauley, and were among downtown Atlanta’s most popular attractions throughout the 1940s and 1950s. 
The fountain was built in 1945 and has served as popular gathering spot in the heart of the city ever since. But over the past 10 years it had fallen into disrepair. Not only did the fountain mechanics no longer function, but the plantings around the fountain were filled with litter and the park was an eyesore that no longer attracted visitors. 
It was a sad relic of the past and one not befitting the high-profile locations.

Fountain at Night
Photo Courtesy of Fountain People

Because of its location, both the city of Atlanta and the University had an interest in bringing the fountain back to its former glory. The landscape architecture firm of HGOR worked closely with Georgia State University and Fountain People to both restore the water feature structure, redesign its perimeter and replace the mechanical and electrical equipment in order to get the fountain back in working order.
The park’s grand re-opening took place on Aug 22, 2022 with a host of city and university officials and local residents. The project drew praise for recapturing a beautiful part of the city’s past. 

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