Liverpool City Council Chief Executive Tony Reeves has been very supportive of the efforts made by many people including local residents to restore the Piazza Fountain in its current location. He recently stated in correspondence with us that: “Admired by many, the fountain is a prominent and well-known feature of great significance, reflected in its listing by Historic England”.
Engage has been organising with Merseyside Civic Society the Piazza Fountain Steering Group which along with the Friends of the Piazza Fountain is working to fully restore the fountain from its current situation of neglect. We have just started a crowd-funding project which we’d very much like you to consider supporting.
With your donations, the groups plan to commission an expert engineer report on the state of the long ignored fountain, with a fully detailed and costed plan for returning it into spectacular working order.
For over two years, Engage Liverpool has supported residents of Beetham Plaza in first safeguarding the iconic ‘Bucket Fountain’ from deconstruction, then pushing for official listed monument status, and most recently, campaigning for the fountain to be returned to public ownership.
We have now donated £1000 towards the crowd-funder to get this beloved fountain onto the road to recovery – and we need your support to make it happen. The crowd-funder stands at over £8k pledged, out of a total £12,250 needed. Your donation—big or small—can help push it over the edge.
What are you raising the money for?
Despite being noted by Historic England as one of the most fascinating monuments to be listed in 2019, the Piazza Fountain has been the victim of neglect for much of its recent life.
With Merseyside Civic Society and The Friends of the Piazza Fountain, we are seeking your financial support for:
- Assessment by an expert engineer, of the fountain, buckets, seals, pump room, viewing platforms, and receiving pool.
- Compilation of an engineering report, detailing the current state of the entire fountain, and the remedial steps required to return it to its former glory.
- Identification of suitably experienced contractors to perform the remedial works.
- Preparation by a conservation engineer, of full tender documents for further funding (eg: from Heritage Lottery Fund) of repairs and restoration, along with prepared costings and contracts.
This plan of work will keep the fountain in Beetham Plaza but take it from its current position – loved but ultimately dangerously at risk – to become a working, sustainable, and vibrant fountain complex, unique to Liverpool.
You can read more about the restoration plans on the crowd-funder page.
About the fountain
The kinetic water sculpture is the only remaining example in the world of the work of the extraordinary Welsh designer, engineer, and artist, Richard Huws, who was also a former lecturer at the Liverpool University School of Architecture.
Its buckets were constructed at Cammell Laird shipyards, across the river, and when it was working the crashing sounds of the water reverberating against the tall buildings on Beetham Plaza, were intended to link back to waves breaking on the hulls of both the trading and, sadly, slave ships that put Liverpool on the world map. Indeed – the fountain stands only a few feet from the section of the dock road still called ‘Goree’, in reference to Gorée Island in Senegal, from which enslaved people were routinely transported.
The fountain’s viewing platforms invite interaction and inspection from the public, who can experience the water feature from up close or far away, up high or down low. And the movement of the buckets—random or clockwork, you decide!—adds a level of excitement and character that simply isn’t present in any other sculpture in the city, or indeed the region.
Read more about the fountain, and our involvement in its recovery, on our ‘Save the Piazza Fountain’ project page.
MERSEYSIDE CIVIC SOCIETY ZOOM CONFERENCE WITH DR RICHARD MOORE: 26.05.21
A Waterfall of a Strange New Kind