Monday, January 9, 2017

Bryant Park's Frozen Fountain

January 2017
Bryant Park is one of the most notable and most popular landmarks in midtown Manhattan . It is  located in the heart of New York  behind the New York Public Library’s main branch. In summer you can enjoy HBO's annual film festival, poetry readings and tai chi and yoga classes in the park.
December 2014
 And  the winter season  brings  ice-skating and a frozen fountain. The frozen fountain  in Bryant Park   has become a temporary tourist attraction as passers-by take photos.

City photographers have known for years the magic that that sub-freezing temperatures can work on flowing water, and have famously chronicled it with stunning photos.
 This fountain commemorates   Josephine Shaw Lowell, who founded the Charity Organization Society.
June 2015
Josephine Shaw was born   into a wealthy New England family in 1843. She lived   with her parents on   Staten Island . Her husband  was called into service during the American Civil War  and  died in  battle  less than a year after they were married.  

Josephine Lowell started her volunteer service at the beginning of the Civil War and, throughout the years, participated in and helped to found many charities. Later Josephine Shaw became  the  first female member of the New York State Board of Charities, serving from 1876 to 1889.

February 2016
Architect Charles A. Platt   designed  this  granite ornamental fountain  and installed it  at the east side of the park in 1913. In 1936 the fountain was moved to the west side of the park.


March 2015
In 2009 the fountain was winterized with the installation of an internal electric heating system, enabling it to be left on in subzero temperatures and gather icicles. The fountain has been specially outfitted with heaters that  keep  things just warm enough inside to prevent damage to the pipes, but allows the beautiful ice crystals to form on the outside.

When the temperatures drop below 30 degrees, the water spilling over the edge of the fountain begins to crystallize.
The fountain is switched off during extended cold spells to prevent enough ice gathering to cause structural damage.