New fountain honors late civic leader’s vision

August 22, 2002
Reprinted with Permission of the New Haven Register, Aug 21, 2002

Within the next four months, the center flagpole of the New Haven Green will be transformed by a new fountain featuring lights and 32 jets of water.

The project, which got under way Tuesday with a ceremonial first shoveling of the Green’s earth, was a vision of Charles Newton Schenck III when he was the chairman of the Proprietors of the Green.

Schenck died in February.

Another proprietor, Ann Calabresi said during the ceremony, “This is a moment Newt imagined with great pleasure.”

She said the fountain “will bring serenity and pleasure to the people of New Haven.”

The fountain will replace the iron fence that now surrounds the war memorial and flagpole.  It will include an octagonal walkway with three stone benches.

The project will cost $540,661, funded by the city, the proprietors, the South Central Regional Water Authority and Yale.

“If there were ever a summer that proved the need for the cooling waters of a fountain, this is it,” said Michael Morand, an associate vice president in Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs.

Claire Bennitt, who is chairwoman of the South Central Regional Water Authority’s said the fountain will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the New Haven Water Company’s founding.  The company actually began in 1849 but a city committee was appointed in 1852.

During the 1850s a reservoir and system of pipes was built on Prospect Hill.  Clean drinking water first reach the Green in 1862.

Mayor John DeStefano Jr. said the fountain will “complement the grass and trees with water.”  He called the Green “the most enduring place in the city” and noted, “it is rarely built upon.”

Quenell Rothschild and Partners designed the fountain.