Sunday, June 7, 2009

And Another Fountain Destination

Well, as you think about leaving your indoor water fountain at home and taking a vacation trip, why not consider St. Louis? Not as many fountains as in Kansas City, but a few worth a look when you're in that area.

The most dramatic fountain is called the Gateway Geyser. To be fair it isn't in St Louis, but across the Mississippi river, a 10 Minute drive from St. Louis, in East St Louis, IL. It began operating in 1995 costing about $4 million.

Three 800-horsepower pumps power the fountain, discharging 8,000 gallons of water per minute at a speed of 250 feet per second. The fountain has an axial thrust of 103,000 pounds-force; water is jetted out of the 6-foot tall aerated nozzle at a pressure of 550 pounds per square inch.

For us non-engineer-types this translates into the world's second tallest fountain, lifting water to a height of approximately 630 feet. It is second to King Fahd's Fountain in Saudi Arabia, which can reach 1,020 ft. The Gateway Geyser is a counterpart to the equally tall Arch on the opposite Missouri riverbank. Four minor fountains represent the four rivers which converge at St. Louis and East St. Louis. I runs for 15 minutes only twice daily (due to FAA restrictions) at Noon and 1PM.
Two other nice fountains in St. Louis are the Keiner Plaza fountain in front of the old Courthouse and the Meeting of Waters Fountain that was designed by Swedish sculptor, Carl Milles.

It is located across from Union Station in Aloe Plaza and is the magnificent Carl Milles' Fountain with elaborate bronze sculptural pieces representing the junction of the Mississippi and Missouri revers.

Union station is a massive, Romanesque-style building, designed by architect Theodore Link in 1894 and was once the largest and busiest railroad terminal in the world. In 1976, the Saint Louis Union Station was designated a National Historic Landmark and after an extensive $150 million restoration, the facility, including an expansive 11.5 acre trainshed reopened in 1985 with a hotel, unique marketplace of shops, assortment of fine restaurants and cafes, live entertainment and a lake with boats ... all under one roof!

Enjoy some St Louis-style ribs at a nerby restaurant and the stroll back to fountain to enjoy the evening display.

So here is yet one more set of impressive cousins of your indoor water fountain at home. I hope you will appreciate and enjoy the artistry and design of all fountains, small and large, at home and away.

My next post will address another Fountain Destination - New York City.

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