Sunday, September 1, 2013

Stearns Quarry Fountain


Stearns Quarry Fountain, 2009
Ernest Wong
Palmisano Park
2700 South Halsted Street
West of South Halsted Street and south of West 27th Street

This 27-acre park sits on an ancient coral reef that was used as a quarry from 1830 through 1969, and later served as a landfill for construction waste. Ernest Wong of Site Design Group, responsible for designing Ping Tom Memorial Park (300 West 19th Street) in 1999 was tapped for this Bridgeport park. Created to engage residents as well as support native eco-systems, it in incorporates the old elevator shaft remnants as well as including native plants and fossilized limestone boulders in the park’s landscape. 
Wong's galvanized metal fountain is inspired by cranes once used in the quarry. Water in the fountain is re-circulated and flows through the ten-foot tall tube, down through the horizontal ribs onto a concrete runnel that flows through terraced wetland cells and ending at the park’s fishing pond. 
The park is named in honor of Henry C. Palmisano (1951-2006), a Bridgeport resident who served as a member of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s fishing advisory committee and was an advocate and supporter of urban fishing. Wong's Site Design Group is also responsible for the design of Mary Bartelme Park (115 South Sangamon Street).

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