Friendship Fountain Reopens on the Southbank | Public Spaces
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- After falling into disrepair and not operating for years, the Friendship Fountain, reopened Saturday morning.
Several hundred were on hand at the dedication hosted by Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton today. The fountain is 46 years old and new pumps, pipes, a new lighting system, and new sound system were added at a cost of $3.1 million.
"It was important that we make strategic investments in our downtown area. It has enormous potential and we have to be ready for the post-recession era," said Peyton.
Peyton made the decision 18 months ago to make the investment in tough times and despite opposition, and the city council voted to repair the fountain. "I am proud to be here today."
"This is the 50-yard line of our city," said Peyton. "It is a phenomenal destination. It is an iconic landmark in our city that I think can foster greater investment and more vibrancy downtown. We are proud of this day"
Peyton urged residents to visit the fountain at night with coordinated music and motion and lights. "It's worth the trip, come on down."
Seating, landscaping and more grass was added to the park as well. There will be a light show from 8:30 to 10pm nightly.
The fountain is part of a 14-acre park that was designed by Taylor Hardwick in the 60's. Hardwick lobbied the mayor for the renovation. "It has been here 46 years and I hope it is here for at least another 46," said Hardwick at the dedication.