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Wells Fountain

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1890, William R. Mead. Main St. at Putney Rd., City of Brattleboro

The fountain at the head of Main Street has long been important in the cultural life of the community. Here on New Year's Eve in 1856, sculptor Larkin Mead Jr. created a snow angel (preserved in marble replicas in the neighboring Brooks Library and on the Henry Willard monument in the cemetery of nearby Westminster). Subsequently, the Carpenter family donated this corner of their property as a site for “a water fountain of artistic design or some other work of art which shall beautify and adorn said plot and remain an ornament to the said village and evidence of the good taste of its inhabitants.” In 1890 William Henry Wells commissioned the fountain from the sculptor's architect brother, William Rutherford Mead. Built of beige granite, Mead's design consists of two polished Corinthian columns that carry a dentiled entablature from which is suspended an elaborate curvilinear light fixture. The columns straddle a massive cylindrical basin, its otherwise plain surfaces embellished only with a molded base and lip and a pair of lion's heads in bold relief. The site's civic context was somewhat diminished in the 1930s when a filling station replaced the Italianate house of the Carpenter family, but the context was reestablished with the completion of a new courthouse and a small park in 1988.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson
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Citation

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Wells Fountain", [Brattleboro, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VT-01-WH41.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 419-419.

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