Monday, April 06, 2009

Buckingham Fountain Re-opens: Gravel Banished

Is it possible to have too much sparkly brick paving?

17 comments:

BWChicago said...

Would it have been so hard to have split faces, and, you know, TEXTURE?

Haaaaate it. Michael Fus should be ashamed for selling out to Unilock.

Scott said...

Well, I hated the gravel, and so did my rollerblades. This has to be better.

BWChicago said...

You raise an interesting point. Is Buckingham Fountain Chicago's newest Skateboarding Park?

ADA said...

Not if you are in a wheelchair.

Anonymous said...

Its so fugly i want to puke. The gravel was so much classier and garden setting.

CHICAGOandPointsNorth said...

As always, with those pesky Beaux Arts planners, its a question of scale. Maybe too much sparkle for several hundred fountain-watchers. But just enough for a Chicago Icon -- gravel or sparkle, size matters.

Lynn Becker said...

So is diversity. The more I look at it, the more I get the sense that the massive monotonous carpet of brick paving doesn't so much complement the grandeur of Buckingham Fountain as suffocate it.

Anonymous said...

One would think that they could find a balance between hard surface and the traadional Versailles-style gravel, This is tres overpowering.

Anonymous said...

i hated that damn gravel--always in my shoe...it would take the french to come up with that idea.

Anonymous said...

More down market suburban crap from the ever growing mindless chicago esthetic-!! Has no one that works for the parks commission ever seen or studied the great garden parks of PARIS?? Or maybe the some the recent park renovations in NYC?! Its soooooooo obvious the delicate sandy grave is not perfect - like a paved highway would be- but that is not the point of garden park. Chicago's current vision is at an all time low. The city no longer represents a higher vision of art and culture for provinces to aspire too.... now it's on the very same level- suburban shopping mall.

Anonymous said...

I went there two days ago. It is an impressive expanse of pavers bordering on overwhelming.

But it's the best solution I could think of to make the fountain easily accessible to all people. My sister has cerebral palsy and has never been able to visit the fountain because it was too far of an expanse for her to cover on unpaved, hard to navigate little rocks.

I think it was a good solution.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen it in person yet and I want to give it a chance before judging it.

However, I have a concern. Specifically, why are we finding out about this change AFTER it has been executed?

For such a major change to such a major Chicago space, shouldn't there have been some discussion? Shouldn't there have been a debate about the surface BEFORE the change was made.

This is another example of the Park District making decisions without public input. This decision-making style has brought us the sickening soccer stadium in Lincoln Park and other lemons.

Hey, maybe showed it to Bob O'Neill and counted that as a public process.

Greg said...

Boston City Hall Plaza redux. Or, now I've moved to Seattle, Red Square at the UW. Ugh.

Spudart said...

I like the brick pavers by the fountain. The gravel made it look like the place was under construction. Now there is a nice clean crisp finished feel.

elmhurst erik said...

The petanque players of the world must have been greatly saddened by this alteration. The former gravel at the Buck was perfect for petanque.

elmhurst erik said...

The brick looks more regal and grand, admirable and ambitious, exalted and glorious, illustrious and luxurious, magnificent and majestic, marvelous and monumental, noble and outstanding, splendid and stately, striking and sumptuous. Yes, it is all those things.

BWChicago said...

The pink gravel at Buckingham PALACE disagrees: http://www.reggie.net/photos/england/london/buckingham_palace/090410-092743-0005_grenadier_guard_sentry_box_buckingham_palace_london-600.jpg

They could've thrown in some unilock pavers there too... wonder why they didn't.