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James Scott Fountain

The Scott Fountain on Belle Isle was built in 1925 as a memorial to Detroiter James Scott who was a real estate investor. The AIA Guide to Detroit tells us that Scott “delighted in lawsuits and other disputes”. So when Scott died in 1910 and left $500,000 of his estate for the city to build a fountain with his bronze statue in the center – this of course caused quite the controversy. The city filled and expanded the western end of the island as a home for the fountain.

Detail of fountain sculpture

New York based architect Cass Gilbert designed this fountain made of marble and features sculpture of lions, turtles, frogs, goats and angels riding fish.

Additional detail of sculpture - notice the water stains which will be cleaned during the restoration process.

At one time, the pool base held decorative Pewabic tile however the tile was removed as a part of the restoration the fountain is currently undergoing. This was due to the base of the fountain leaking and in bad shape. But folks, don’t get too upset here, the tiles are going back – brand spanking new from the Pottery. I wish I had images of those tiles, but alas, I have none. I will post images of the new tiles when available.

Photograph of the lower fountain. Note the sculptural seaweed on the back walls. We see this seaweed in a similar fashion on the Aquarium.

Oh, and there was a bronze statue of Scott… he sits off to the side of the fountain. I’ll include him in upcoming post about the monuments on the island. Next up, Detroit Boat Club.

Photographs (c) 2005-2011 Jack P. Johnson and Jennifer Baross

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