Fall is one of the most beautiful times to visit Madison Indiana. With all of the wonderful hardwood trees that line our streets and the wooded hillsides of the Ohio River valley that surround our town, it’s no wonder Madison has become such a wonderful place to come visit and enjoy all of the amazing sites.
One of the most beautiful sites is the Broadway Fountain a wonderful spot where many community activities take place. The Farmers Market, Music in the Park, Weddings and a host of many other things happen here.
These images were not all taken this year they have come from the last few years during the fall season.
One of Madison’s landmarks, the original Broadway Fountain stood in the middle of Broadway for almost 100 years before it was dismantled and replaced with the 1981 bronze copy or reproduction. The original Janes, Kirtland, and Company cast iron fountain was displayed at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. After the Exposition closed, the Madison Lodge of Independent Order of Odd Fellows purchased the fountain and presented it to the city in 1884.
French sculptor J.P.Victor Andre modeled the fountain’s design (Model #5 in the Janes, Kirtland catalog) after either one of the Place-de-la-Concord fountains in Paris or one at London’s Crystal Palace. It consists of three decorated tiered basins approximately 26 feet high and 35 feet across. Cartouches featuring the Odd Fellows symbol of three interconnected links adorn each side of the fountain’s octagonal base. Four tritons surround the base, with each creature holding a shell horn that spouts water. A classically robed female figure holding a rod sits atop the highest basin.
As part of the 1976 American bicentennial celebrations held across the country, the City of Madison spearheaded a major restoration effort, hiring Cincinnati sculpture Eleftherios Karkadoulias to reconstruct the entire fountain in bronze. The process took nearly three years as Karkadoulias disassembled the fountain and shipped each piece to his Cincinnati studio. There he created wax molds and reconstructed the fountain in bronze, a longer-lasting and sturdier metal. The reproduction fountain was dedicated in 1981. The only part of the original fountain that is still present in Fountain Park is a stone plinth that supported one of the original triton figures; it is set into the concrete at the south end of the central path as a base for a tablet that commemorates the replacement fountain.
The Broadway Fountain is one of four similarly designed fountains that Janes, Kirtland, and Company created. The others can be found in Savannah, Georgia (seen in the movies Forrest Gump and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil); Poughkeepsie, New York; and Cusco, Peru.
The Broadway Fountain Park contributes to the historic significance of the Madison Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark. The info on the fountain is from the National Park Service hopefully I didn’t mess it up or make a mistake copying it, I am not a writer and it is starting to get late.
When you plan your fall travels make sure you make a trip to Madison and a great place to start would be here at the fountain.