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Fort Worth's Water Gardens Park
Water Fountains Featured in Park Covering Four Acres in Fort Worth Texas.
|In downtown Fort Worth, Texas, at 15th and Commerce Street, the Fort Worth Water Gardens Park covers more than four acres on the south side of the Tarrant County Convention Center, and features a series of three water fountain pools that drop below street level almost one hundred feet: the Active Pool, the Aerating Pool, and the Quiet Pool. Over five hundred species of plants and trees adorn the park, which offers visitors to the downtown area a refuge from the noise of Interstate 30 running on the south side of the gardens, as well as the bustle of the downtown Convention Center area.|
Historically, the site of the Convention Center was at one time the infamous Hells’ Half Acre, a notorious and seedy center of Fort Worth’s days as “Cowtown”. All remains of the Acre have been razed, and in its place lies the Convention Center and Forth Worth Water Gardens Park.
The Active Pool is the water fountain's main attraction and most photographed area of the Gardens, approximately an acre of terraces running at steep angles downward thirty-eight feet into a small central pit of rushing water. Visitors may walk down into the Active Pool along a terraced walkway. In 2004 an accidental drowning occurred in the Active Pool when a child fell into the deep, rushing water and three other people tried to save her. The child and her father drowned due to the powerful suction of the pumps, and the pool was closed. In the Spring of 2007 the Active Pool was reopened with completed adaptations, changing the depth of the pool at the bottom from nine feet to a much safer two feet, and warning signs are now posted strictly prohibiting swimming.
Just west of the Active Pool lies the fountain's Aerating Pool, where forty-two spray jets produce a fine mist over an angular, irregular pool shape. The Aerating Pool is surrounded with shaded walkways and sitting areas, providing a cool misty refuge from the Texas heat. At night the Aerating Pool is illuminated from below, and occasionally the color of the lighting is changed for seasonal celebrations.
West of the Aerating Pool lies the water fountain's Quiet Pool, a rectangular and still pool far below street level and covering nearly an entire acre, surrounded with elegant native trees, with the slightly sloping walls encasing the Quiet Pool area covered in a sheer film of cascading water.
Designed by architects Phillip Johnson and John Burgee of New York, and constructed by Thos. S Burne General Contractors in Fort Worth in 1974, the Water Gardens were founded by the Amon G. Carter Foundation in the 1960's. The Gardens are frequently used as a setting for wedding and business photographers, and are open twenty-four hours a day to the public, free of charge. Wheelchair accessible with the exception of the water fountain named the Active Pool, the Water Gardens do not offer any public restrooms, nor food or drink options, but remains a popular lunchtime destination for local employees of the downtown business district, who arrive with sack lunches to sit among the shade trees and relax.
Portions of the 1976 film “Logans Run” were filmed in the Water Gardens’ Active Pool, which also appears in the 1979 television movie, “The Lathe of Heaven”.
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