Thursday, March 18, 2010

Old Town Fountain

The weather was so nice out yesterday that it's hard to believe that we're under a winter storm warning for the weekend. I took advantage of the 60F degree weather and sketched the fountain in Old Town square.

I've always felt a bit of a connection to this piece, in that it came into being not long after my family moved to Fort Collins 26 years ago. Old Town square had just been constructed, a dusty, bricked off section of Linden Street suddenly and irrevocably blocked off to cars. I remember thinking how strange it was that the newly minted manholes had "1984" emblazoned on them, and how they reminded me of the the strange, grown-up novel by Orwell I'd taken upon myself to read that year.

I can't recall when the geese were added, but it must've been a while later because I recall not liking them at first. Somehow I felt as if Someone In The Know should've let me know that they were going to change "my" fountain; a strangely balanced gaggle of metallic geese just seemed to take away from its geologic simplicity. (I had a similar feeling when they added another sculpture to the fountain at the Foothills Fashion Mall -- to my young mind, fountains were art enough, it would seem.) I eventually grew used to the addition, however, and now can't imagine the fountain without it.

A few years later, "The Spirit of Fort Collins", as its plaque titles it, was upstaged from its central prominence by, well, a stage. I have yet to feel a deep fondness for the permanent, view-blocking roof over Old Town stage, but who knows? Perhaps I will in another decade or so. I'm fairly certain it's already appreciated by local musicians, whose epic battles with summer hail and wind gusts became an unintended part of the entertainment.

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