Ice Mass Threatens Serious Damage to Bryant Park’s Selfie-Baiting Fountain

The Bryant Park fountain covered in ice. Photo by Anthony Quintano, Flickr Creative Commons.
The Bryant Park fountain covered in ice. Photo by Anthony Quintano, Flickr Creative Commons.

You’ve probably seen the frozen fountain in Bryant Park, if not in person, then certainly through the countless Instagram and Twitter snaps it has inspired. Indeed, the massive, glittering icicles that cascade down from the fountain’s head are hard to ignore, and a surefire way to alert remote loved ones that, yep, it’s freaking cold here!

Unfortunately, for all their beauty, it appears the icy tendrils are doing serious damage to the granite and bronze fountain, and many of them will need to be chipped off. Gothamist reports that a note on the Bryant Park Blog reads:

“The weight of the icicles is putting undue strain on the Fountain’s granite bowls. This hasn’t been a problem in past winters, because the temperature has fluctuated enough for some of the icicles to melt off, but this year’s prolonged freeze means that layers of icicles have been building up for the past several weeks. Each drop of frozen water adds more weight to the Fountain’s structure. The strain is endangering the structural integrity of the Fountain, so we’ll be chipping off some of the ice in an attempt to lighten the load.”

There you have it, folks. It’s been so cold in New York for so long that extreme measures must be taken to ensure that historical landmarks aren’t irreparably damaged.

For the record, the fountain has been housed in the park since 1913, and is dedicated to Josephine Shaw Lowell, a progressive reform leader known for starting the Consumers’ League of New York.

The fountain was the first major New York City monument to be dedicated to a woman.


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