#FriendshipFountain Grand Reopening June 18, 2011

Tomorrow will mark the Grand Reopening of Friendship Fountain and I am certainly hoping for a nice crowd to kick the new Era of Friendship Fountain and Park off on a proud note…

A number of City dignitaries, including Mayor Peyton, will be present as well as an expected appearance by Taylor Hardwick, the original Fountain Architect.

A number of Local News outlets have posted stories regarding the Renovation of Friendship Fountain and park which I will link below:

Times Union by Charlie Patton: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2011-06-16/story/renovated-friendship-fountain-will-reopen-saturday
WOKV: http://www.wokv.com/news/news/local/3-million-your-tax-dollars-display-friendship-foun/nCw2m/
TV-4: http://www.news4jax.com/news/28200584/detail.html
Bold New City 5.0 http://bnc5.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-a-revitalized-downtown/

If any more “Love” gets posted today I will add the links…

I know a number of folks that Frequent the Metro Jacksonville Forums have stopped by the Fountain in the last few days and everyone’s impression have been nothing but positive.

I took a quick trip down to the Fountain yesterday and got some more shots of the Park, which is just beautiful.

Along with a Video from the Pumphouse:

Ok that will be the last “Renovation” Post as tomorrow at this time I expect to be tweeting from Friendship Fountain for the Grand reopening, hashtag #FriendshipFountain

Till then,

#FriendshipFountain Gets some Love from TV4 WJXT

Well finally a bit of Love for Friendship Fountain, this from WJXT TV4.

A video and print story regarding the Fountain Renovation and Reopening.

I am not sure but the shot of the Fountain being tested at night may be one of the JaxFountain.com videos 🙂

A mention of the Grand Reopening on TV47 Action News as well…

A little Love from the Times Union on May 11, 2011

TV12, FirstCoastnews.com, did report on the new Seal back in April…

Remember one week from today, Saturday June 18, 2011 starting at 9:00 AM ET the Grand Reopening of Friendship Fountain and Park will be held and we hope to see YOU at the Grand Reopening…

Till next time,

#FriendshipFountain Jun 9, 2011 Patriotic Program

Last night starting at about 8:30 PM ET anyone that happened to be downtown got a real treat as a complete Patriotic Program was run. A number of City officials were present and as it was finishing the Mayor arrived and we got to run the complete program a second time.

I was able to get Videos of the complete run through both from ground level and from the Pump House Roof and you can see those videos at the below links.


Additionally I have posted up a number of pictures from last evening.

Just to get an idea of the new Friendship Park take a look at this video…

Remember just one week to go until the Grand reopening of Friendship Fountain and Park and you will want to be there.

Until next time,

#FriendshipFountain Grand Reopening Information

From Ginny Walthour of the City of Jacksonville Public Information Office…

Hope you can make it…


City of Jacksonville Official Public Announcement:


$3.1 million project completed for residents to enjoy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 08, 2011 – Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton will join City Council members Don Redman and Warren Jones, downtown partners, as well as representatives of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission (JEDC), Public Works and the Recreation and Community Services departments and the project’s contractor AC General, Inc. to celebrate the reopening of Friendship Fountain Park.

WHEN:Saturday, June 18
9 – 11 a.m.

WHERE: Friendship Fountain Park, Southbank Riverwalk
(Free event parking will be available in the JTA lot under the Acosta Bridge.)

WHAT: The event will feature a dedication ceremony, entertainment and family-friendly activities, in conjunction with the Museum of Science & History (MOSH). The free event is open to the public and residents are encouraged to enjoy the newly refurbished Friendship Fountain in its new park-like setting.

The $3.1 million restoration project replaced broken concrete areas surrounding the fountain with natural grass surfaces, added seating opportunities for passive recreation and installed new sidewalks, lighting and trees. Additionally, the project includes refurbishment of the fountain infrastructure, including the pumps, piping and electrical systems, to restore it to its iconic stature.

As one of his last personal appearances as mayor, Mayor Peyton will celebrate this restoration project as part of his commitment to revitalize and bring more life to downtown and provide another opportunity for workers, residents and visitors to congregate and enjoy the city’s assets of the Southbank Riverwalk and the St. Johns River.

#FriendshipFountain Home Stretch

Today marks the last two weeks until the Grand Reopening of Friendship Fountain and Park and last night I got treated to some more night time testing of the Fountain lighting and music programming and WOW is really all I can say…

Hope that helps give you some idea 😉

Also a special color was added, “Donna Pink”

I will be posting a final Update this Friday after another Night time testing event on Thursday evening and I certainly hope that everyone who has been following the Renovation is planning in attending the Grand reopening on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 9:00 AM ET, I certainly will be there 😉

Oh and one more tease, a little video that may give you a better idea of the changes to the Park as you enter…

Until next time,

Starting to come together #FriendshipFounatin

Spent a couple of hours down at Friendship Fountain and Park this afternoon and WOW…

It is all starting to come together, all of the trees and palms are in place, all the sod except for a very small area has been laid and you can get a real sense of what a HUGE improvement Friendship Fountain Park has undergone.

I honestly can picture dozens of people sitting at picnic tables or just sitting on the grass (where concrete once ruled) in the shade and enjoying a few moments watching what is arguably the Signature Location of Jacksonville, FL.

The guys from AC General are basically working on final touches, those small little nagging things that every project of this magnitude end up having but appear to have everything well in hand for The Grand reopening of Friendship Fountain and Park on Saturday June 18, 2011 at beginning at 9:00 AM ET.

All of today’s pictures can be viewed at this link:

I expect to have at least a couple of more posts before the Grand Reopening, including hopefully at least one more night time shoot…

One more time make sure you have marked Saturday June 18, 2011 on your calendar and plan on attending the Friendship Fountain and Park Grand reopening… 9:00 AM ET…

Until the next time, which could be soon ;)…


Night Time Light Test #FriendshipFountain

Last night anyone that was at The Landing or crossing the Main Street Bridge may have gotten a glimpse of the New Friendship Fountain in all it’s glory. AC General arranged for a test run of the Fountain Lights and Music Programming which started around 6:30 PM ET and then really got going about 8:30 PM when the sun went down.

One highlight…

Still some issues to be worked out, which is exactly why they scheduled this test, but at times the Fountain performed better than I can ever remember. Including a short full pressure test which took the center ring to over 100 feet in height.

Folks from AC General, Delta Fountain, Southeast Electrical M.V. Cummings and JBC Planning and Engineering were on hand for the test.

(Martin Bryant – Project Manager (He’s the one really who is really comfortable), Scott Johnston from Delta Fountains, Mike Carney with MVCE Engineers and Nick Mousa from JBC Planning & Engineering look on from the top of the Pump House, arguably the best seats in the house)

(Larry Summerville AC General Superintendent, Dave Bowen and Timmy Carter with Southeast Electrical and Danny Strickland with AC General look pleased with what they are seeing.)

One snippet of new information that came out is that the Outer rings can now pump more water than ever in the history of the Fountain and one effect is a dome effect of the outer ring completely covering the fountain.

(John McNeely with Delta Fountains running the actual programming for the test.)

Here is a twilight shot of the Fountain, the LED lights are just starting to be visible in the water streams.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get video of the most impressive part of the test however i did get a short snippet when the test was complete of the Fountain clad in it’s Jaguars Teal Colors 🙂

Impressive is the only word that I could think of as i watched the Fountain pumping in all it’s glory. It has been years since the Fountain was able to perform at this level and it may be performing better than it ever has with the new pumps, the lighting is certainly far improved over any previous lighting and just takes your breath away at times…

All of the pictures I took last evening can be seen here:

More sod will be laid early next week, which by the way is Bermuda Tifway 419 grass, as well as additional lighting in the Park itself and hopefully there will be an additional night light test next week and if so you can bet I will be there.

Till next time,

#FriendshipFountain and Park May 25, 2011 Update

Larry Summerville called me today to let me know that they were beginning to lay sod, so naturally I dropped everything 😉 and ran on down to the Fountain.

Here is the first sod being laid…

An here is shot I took with a new App, Retro Cam, on my Dell Streak, which I call the “Beast”

Gives you an idea what everything will look like when all the green has been added.

I keep looking back at old pictures and still can’t get over how much this renovation is changing the park and how much better it will be when completed.

Speaking of being completed remember that the grand reopening of Friendship Fountain and Park is scheduled for the Morning of Saturday Jun 18, 2011 and you will want to be sure to make plans to be there.

I also keep seeing pictures like the below image that once everything is done are just going to be awesome. Think of all the picture possibilities once all the sod is in place, it is going to be amazing…

The new flag poles have been set and the lamp posts are all in place…

Just needs some more grass and finishing touches and I have to tell you I am still amazed at the changes and how much improved everything will be when done.

Once again I must thank Larry Summerville and AC General for their cooperation with us during this renovation and how accommodating everyone has been, not to mention the sense of pride I have found in everyone working on the project.

Just a few more posts until June 18, when I hope to get to meet many of you that have been following these posts…

Till next time,

#FriendshipFountain and Park May 20, 2011 Update

Landscaping is the name of the game now at Friendship Fountain Park.

Holly Trees have been planted around the Pump house as well as a string of trees in the westdside terraced area. Additionally stands of what I have been told are Cord Grass have been planted in an area adjacent to the main walkway, around the palm trees and is still being planted in an area on the north east side of the Fountain.

The turf block has all been laid and filled in with dirt/planting soil… (you can see some of the Holly trees around the pump house as well)

Larry Summerville the Superintendent said that this coming week additional palm trees will be brought in and possibly starting to lay sod by the end of the week…

All in all really starting to shape up…

Don’t forget to mark your Calendars for Jun 18, 2011 for the Grand reopening, we certainly hope to see as many folks as possible 🙂

Till next time,

#FriendshipFountain Special Update – Center Ring

Larry Summerville called me yesterday to alert me that they would be doing a full pressure test of the fountain pumps and nozzles and I scampered on down to get a look.

That is Eric Beebe standing in front of the Fountain, he is about 6 foot tall for height comparison, and he also worked on the last Friendship Fountain refurb in the early 2000’s.

As you can note the Center ring is being pushed to the right due to winds I would guess to be around 15 – 20 mph and caused severe water over spray that completely soaked the east side of the Park and required that the pumps be turned down to about 60 – 75%.

Here is a shot of the Pump control panel with (left to right) Eric Beebe, Danny Strickland and Larry Summerville, all from AC General, as they were powering up the pumps.

The park is starting to shape up and this week they are expecting new trees to be put into place and then they should be starting on laying the new sod…

I will have an update again this Friday if not sooner and if you want to get into the discussion there is a pretty active one going on at Metro Jacksonville Forums.

Till next time,