23 May CCG awarded iconic Crown Fountain Evaluation Project
It is with great pride, humility and deep appreciation that we are sharing with our blog-followers that Chicago Corrosion Group was recently awarded the contract to provide a comprehensive assessment of the Crown Fountain.
The work is a collegial collaboration among CCG, Millennium Park Foundation, and City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and generously funded by Millennium Park Foundation donors, and most notably, the Crown family.
The Crown Fountain was conceived by renown Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. The two glass and stainless-steel towers, dedicated in 2004, stand 50’ tall and are separated by a 232’ long pool, which, on the hot summer days of Chicago, are awash in damp toddlers of all ages.
The towers seem to defy gravity, being built out of glass block and slender, delicate stainless-steel frames. Facing the ponds are, well, literally, faces. Tucked surreptitiously behind the two facing planes of each tower is a wall of LED lights which show different, moving faces. And, on occasion, water comes spewing out between the pursed lips of the faces from, what else, but the gargoyle spout.
CCG is honored to be coordinating the assessment among a variety of world-class vendors to evaluate the overall condition of the fountain, and, in order of magnitude, develop recommendations for short, and long-term maintenance.
Our work will include evaluation of every aspect of the feature, including mechanical and control systems, water treatment and management, corrosion and waterproofing issues, landscaping, lighting evaluation and, we hope, an eye towards an innovative way in which to manage corrosion and algae growth on the interior of the towers.
Years ago, I had written a blog about “The Sarcophagus,” an enormous, movable dome designed to cover the still, highly radioactive Chernobyl nuclear power plant. I was, and remain, fascinated by the manner in which they intend on keeping the interstice (space between the inner and outer dome) corrosion-free. They’re simply going to keep the relative humidity below 40%.
One of the issues we’ll be evaluating is the feasibility of doing something similar for the fountains.
For those living in Chicago, or coming for a visit, I would highly encourage you to visit the fountain and sit on one of the benches for a while. The fountain is captivating (particularly in the rain). And it’s alive. It’s alive with water cascading down it’s faces, the living faces which playfully squirt water across the pond (in which you’ll see kids trying to get the timing just right to run beneath) and you’ll see unmitigated joy. In the people, of all ages, splashing around in the zero-depth pond, and physically and emotionally interacting with a unique, and engaging, and beautiful piece of art.
Or, better yet, take off your shoes, and splash around a bit. It’ll do your soul good.