Rapid City, SD

Rapid City, SD got its fountain in 1911largely through the efforts W. E. Adair who had been a reporter for the local paper. It was originally placed at the middle of the intersection of 7th and Main Streets. As with most other cities, the rise of the automobile placed the fountain at risk of obsolescence and it initially moved to the corner of the intersection before it was relocated a few times to Halley Park and Sioux Park flower garden near city's parks department in old Storybook Island.

Somewhere around 1998, Paul Swedlund, chairman of the Rapid City Historic Preservation Commission saw an old picture of the fountain at its original location and wondered what had become of it. One day while riding around Rapid City he found it in Sioux Park and began to think abut bringing it back to the original downtown location.

Eventually another member and future chairman of the Commission, Lee Vierling, stepped in to take the lead. He began working with students from the American Society of Civil Engineers at South Dakota Tech to plan a restoration. They were convinced by Scott Kenner, Head of the civil engineering department to make it a senior design project working on the pump, subgrade and concrete pad. They brought in renowned sculptor John Lopez to fabricate and make new lion-heads spigots to replace the missing ones which he did using photographs of other fountains like the one in Princeton, IL - John later did the same for other communities like Derby, CT.

In 2004 the fountain began a new life near its old location after a collaborative effort led by the Rapid City Historic Preservation Commission. They worked with students at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology to refurbish the fountain.  and they managed to secure a replica of the original lamp on top of the fountain which is one of the smaller design fountains. They worked with the City of Rapid City on the engineering plans and the placement of the fountain.

Grant funding for the project was secured from the Modern Woodmen of America Foundation and the Julianne Creamer Memorial Fund. On May 23, 2004 they held their dedication and you can see some happy people who attended including Lopez.

Click here for some source information.

For more on the National Humane Alliance Fountains click here.

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