Monday, November 21, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Holiday Music Program - Corrected

I had originally posted that the Friendship Fountain Holiday program would be playing starting on Nov 7, 2011 however I miss understood the schedule sent to me and today I received clarification with the corrected information.

The Holiday Music program will run from Nov 23, 2011 December 31, 2011

My apologies to everyone for the incorrect earlier dates and any inconvenience...


Monday, November 07, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Holiday Music Program


I received an email from Lloyd Fountain, Chief of Public Buildings, this morning indicating that the Friendship Fountain Holiday Program would start running on Nov 23, 2011.

Patriotic program Schedule:
November 7, 2011 - November 14, 2011

Holiday program Schedule:
November 23, 2011 - December 31, 2011

Lloyd did not indicate times however I would assume (that usually gets me in trouble) that the times would be similar to the Patriotic Program:

12:00 - 12:30 PM Music program
5:30 - 6:00 PM Music program
8:00 - 10:30 PM Music program

I sure would appreciate anyone that gets by the Fountain in the next few days to let us know if those times are accurate as well as your thoughts regarding the program..

Thanks to Lloyd Fountain and Eric Lindstrom, JEDC, for keeping us updated.

Until next time,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sophia's Letter to #FriendshipFountain

I often get asked why do I spend my time and money running the JaxFountain web site, what do I get out of it,
well here is one reason...

I got a tweet from a Mom asking what address she could send a Letter to Friendship Fountain. Seems this was a physical letter from her 4 year old Daughter Sophia.
Well Friendship Fountain has an address but I doubt they deliver any mail there as it doesn't have on site staff. I suggested the Mayor's Office would be appropriate.

Mom related the following to me...

Sophia was singing "Proud to be an American" the other day and asked when we could go back to Friendship Fountain.
She was upset when I told her that the fountain no longer has music, but was very excited when I explained that the music is coming back at Christmas.

Below is a shot of the Letter being sent to the Mayor and Mom provided the following translation.
Remember Sophia is only 4 years old.

"We like the music. I can't wait until Christmas. Dear Friendship Fountain."

Well I sure hope the Mayor gets the letter but I would like to personally Thank Sophia for taking the time to let us know she likes Friendship Fountain and hope she gets to visit again very soon.

And Sophia, you keep right on singing "Proud to be an American"

Thanks Sophia,

#FriendshipFountain - 12th Annual Lights On Afterschool celebration

Jacksonville will be celebrating the 12th Annual Lights On Afterschool celebration with a walk along the Southbank and ending with a rally at Friendship Fountain.

Courtesy of The Examiner
The event will take place on Thursday, October 20 from 4:30-6 p.m. The students will begin walking from the Chart House at 4:15 p.m., go along the Southbank Riverwalk, and culminate at Friendship Fountain at 4:30 p.m., where the program will take place.

Learn more about the Lights On Afterschool program here:

Even more information HERE!

Support Education, our Kids and Jacksonville!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Downtown Jacksonville Gets New Center Piece

The former Modis building (formerly AccuStaff and Independent Life Building), directly across the St. John's River from Friendship Fountain, has been renamed and the new signage was lifted into place on Sunday Oct 25, 2011.

Welcome the "Wells Fargo" Building.

I also got a Video of the "F" and "W" letters being positioned on the Building.

More images of the Letters being hung as well as the new Jacksonville Skyline can be viewed here:

I will be posting up some additional new pictures of the Fountain, with some rising sun views, in the next day or so as well as an additional post regarding the current issues with Friendship Fountain.

Until then,

Thursday, June 30, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Christmas program and More News

Last night the Christmas Program was run through (so if you were downtown and swore you heard White Christmas or Blue Christmas, you did)...

Some videos of the program can be seen in my YouTube Channel and below is one segment I particularly liked, it ROCKED!

As has been the case each evening I have been to the Fountain there was never less than 20 or more people there and there was even a family having a late picnic at 8:30 PM last night :)

Oh as I noted in the subject there is more News regarding the Fountain. Eric Lindstrom with the JEDC let me know yesterday that they will be adding a Pergola to the east side of the Fountain, as indicated in the below construction draft.

Also they are discussing painting both the outside wall of the Fountain and the Pumphouse to match the new Columns color scheme, which would really spruce that up.

AND we are not done yet... An additional 10 song "Downtown" themed Music and Light Program is going to be created.

Eric also provided me with this general daily schedule for the Fountain for the foreseeable future.

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Daytime Ambient Program (Water only)
12:00 PM - Patriotic Soundtrack / Water
12:35 PM - 5:30 PM - Daytime Ambient Program (Water only)
5:30 PM - 6:00 PM Patriotic Siuntrack / Water
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Daytime Ambient program (Water only)
8:00 PM - 10:20 PM Patriotic Soundtrack (Lights/Music/Water) On Loop
10:20 PM - 12:00 AM Ambient Night Program (Lights/Water)
12:01 AM - Fountain Off

I got to see a portion of the Night Ambient program last night and it is impressive all by itself...

Remember folks any pictures you take at the Fountain you are welcome to submit them to be included in the Friendship Fountain Gallery.

Till next time,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Nightly Light and Music Show

Phil, a Friend of #FriendshipFountain, let us know that on Tuesday night, (Jun 21) there was no Sound and Light show, at least between 8:45 PM and 9:30 PM and he obviously was disappointed, especially since he had some out of town visitors with him...

I contacted the City of Jacksonville Keyholders for the Fountain and Renovation project and received this back from Eric Lindstrom...

Bob: There are some software glitches that are being worked out. My understanding is the problem should be worked out by now. As with anything new, initial problems do arise. My apologies to the folks who missed the show Tuesday night. I'm hopeful they will understand and return again as, as you know, the show will be worth a return visit.

Thanks for bringing their issue to my attention.

Eric Lindstrom
Redevelopment Manager

I want to thank Eric for his prompt attention to this, response received within 40 minutes of my initial email to Eric and others, and hopefully any glitches have all been worked out.

Also as Eric mentioned
"as you know, the show will be worth a return visit."

Absolutely worth a second, third and more, trips. Folks if you haven't seen the Friendship Fountain Patriotic Sound and light Show in person you just can't imagine how impressive it is...

I also want to thank Phil for his concern and taking the time to bring this to our attention, this is just the type of Community involvement we need in the City of Jacksonville, both to ensure our Elected Officials and City Employees are taking care of business but also to demonstrate that people do pay attention and if we had more Phil's possibly other areas would have more needed attention paid to them.

Remember you can drop an email to us here at at anytime and we will always answer those messages and also do our best to get answers if needed from those responsible...

Till next time,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Grand Reopening - June 18, 2011

Wow what a busy day Saturday turned out to be...

Arrived at the Fountain around 8:15 AM and a number of people were already there and more kept coming. First thing noticed was the new roundabout as you approached the Fountain, very nicely done.

By the time 9:30 rolled around there was about 200 people or so (my best guestimate) and the ceremonies began. The Mayor addressed the crowd followed by Warren Jones, Don Redman and Taylor Hardwick, the original Architect for Friendship Fountain and park.

For videos of the the Opening Ceremony speeches please visit YouTube.

Then as the Fountain jets began to ramp up the Mayor invited everyone to throw a coin for good luck into the Fountain (the City provided nickels to everyone) and with that the Music began and the Patriotic program began to run and you could hear the Ohhs and Ahhs as the different elements of the renovated Fountain began to show themselves.

I got to meet a number of folks during the Grand reopening, Beth Slater (twitter newzgrrl) and her boyfriend and Carrie (twitter CarrieMcLaren) and her Husband as well as a dozen others... Folks I am notoriously bad about names and faces so I apologize if I met you yesterday and didn't mention you by name.

Two new additions to the Fountain landscape were unveiled yesterday, two plaques placed in the North West and North East corners.

All in all I thought it was a great day for the City of Jacksonville and Friendship Fountain.

To see all the pictures I took just visit this link.

The current plans are for the patriotic program to be run each evening from 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM and from past experience you do not want to miss getting to see the Fountain in full color at night.

Speaking of night time my wife and I took a trip back down to the Fountain last evening and we were amazed when we arrived as there had to have been 200 - 300 people all around the Fountain, every bench was occupied, couples and families were sprawled out on the grass on all sides of the Fountain, it was simply amazing at the number of people that were present.

Kids were playing everywhere and everyone seemed to be taking pictures of either the Fountain or of Friends or loved ones using the Fountain as a back drop, it was simply amazing...

Jacksonville please welcome back Your Fountain with it's New renovated Park and I hope that you not only get a chance to visit but visit often and enjoy.

Also don't forget that this is Your Fountain and property and if you note anything that needs attention please let the City know or at least let me know so it can be passed on, it is up to Us to make sure our property is maintained and operated properly :)

Till next time,

Friday, June 17, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Grand Reopening June 18, 2011

Tomorrow will mark the Grand Reopening of Friendship Fountain and I am certainly hoping for a nice crowd to kick the new Era of Friendship Fountain and Park off on a proud note...

A number of City dignitaries, including Mayor Peyton, will be present as well as an expected appearance by Taylor Hardwick, the original Fountain Architect.

A number of Local News outlets have posted stories regarding the Renovation of Friendship Fountain and park which I will link below:

Times Union by Charlie Patton:
Bold New City 5.0

If any more "Love" gets posted today I will add the links...

I know a number of folks that Frequent the Metro Jacksonville Forums have stopped by the Fountain in the last few days and everyone's impression have been nothing but positive.,9617.255.html

I took a quick trip down to the Fountain yesterday and got some more shots of the Park, which is just beautiful.

Along with a Video from the Pumphouse:

Ok that will be the last "Renovation" Post as tomorrow at this time I expect to be tweeting from Friendship Fountain for the Grand reopening, hashtag #FriendshipFountain

Till then,

Saturday, June 11, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Gets some Love from TV4 WJXT

Well finally a bit of Love for Friendship Fountain, this from WJXT TV4.

A video and print story regarding the Fountain Renovation and Reopening.

I am not sure but the shot of the Fountain being tested at night may be one of the videos :)

A mention of the Grand Reopening on TV47 Action News as well...

A little Love from the Times Union on May 11, 2011

TV12,, did report on the new Seal back in April...

Remember one week from today, Saturday June 18, 2011 starting at 9:00 AM ET the Grand Reopening of Friendship Fountain and Park will be held and we hope to see YOU at the Grand Reopening...

Till next time,

Friday, June 10, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Jun 9, 2011 Patriotic Program

Last night starting at about 8:30 PM ET anyone that happened to be downtown got a real treat as a complete Patriotic Program was run. A number of City officials were present and as it was finishing the Mayor arrived and we got to run the complete program a second time.

I was able to get Videos of the complete run through both from ground level and from the Pump House Roof and you can see those videos at the below links.

Additionally I have posted up a number of pictures from last evening.

Just to get an idea of the new Friendship Park take a look at this video...

Remember just one week to go until the Grand reopening of Friendship Fountain and Park and you will want to be there.

Until next time,

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Grand Reopening Information

From Ginny Walthour of the City of Jacksonville Public Information Office...

Hope you can make it...


City of Jacksonville Official Public Announcement:


$3.1 million project completed for residents to enjoy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 08, 2011 - Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton will join City Council members Don Redman and Warren Jones, downtown partners, as well as representatives of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission (JEDC), Public Works and the Recreation and Community Services departments and the project's contractor AC General, Inc. to celebrate the reopening of Friendship Fountain Park.

WHEN:Saturday, June 18
9 - 11 a.m.

WHERE: Friendship Fountain Park, Southbank Riverwalk
(Free event parking will be available in the JTA lot under the Acosta Bridge.)

WHAT: The event will feature a dedication ceremony, entertainment and family-friendly activities, in conjunction with the Museum of Science & History (MOSH). The free event is open to the public and residents are encouraged to enjoy the newly refurbished Friendship Fountain in its new park-like setting.

The $3.1 million restoration project replaced broken concrete areas surrounding the fountain with natural grass surfaces, added seating opportunities for passive recreation and installed new sidewalks, lighting and trees. Additionally, the project includes refurbishment of the fountain infrastructure, including the pumps, piping and electrical systems, to restore it to its iconic stature.

As one of his last personal appearances as mayor, Mayor Peyton will celebrate this restoration project as part of his commitment to revitalize and bring more life to downtown and provide another opportunity for workers, residents and visitors to congregate and enjoy the city's assets of the Southbank Riverwalk and the St. Johns River.

Monday, June 06, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Home Stretch

Today marks the last two weeks until the Grand Reopening of Friendship Fountain and Park and last night I got treated to some more night time testing of the Fountain lighting and music programming and WOW is really all I can say...

Hope that helps give you some idea ;)

Also a special color was added, "Donna Pink"

I will be posting a final Update this Friday after another Night time testing event on Thursday evening and I certainly hope that everyone who has been following the Renovation is planning in attending the Grand reopening on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 9:00 AM ET, I certainly will be there ;)

Oh and one more tease, a little video that may give you a better idea of the changes to the Park as you enter...

Until next time,

Friday, June 03, 2011

Starting to come together #FriendshipFounatin

Spent a couple of hours down at Friendship Fountain and Park this afternoon and WOW...

It is all starting to come together, all of the trees and palms are in place, all the sod except for a very small area has been laid and you can get a real sense of what a HUGE improvement Friendship Fountain Park has undergone.

I honestly can picture dozens of people sitting at picnic tables or just sitting on the grass (where concrete once ruled) in the shade and enjoying a few moments watching what is arguably the Signature Location of Jacksonville, FL.

The guys from AC General are basically working on final touches, those small little nagging things that every project of this magnitude end up having but appear to have everything well in hand for The Grand reopening of Friendship Fountain and Park on Saturday June 18, 2011 at beginning at 9:00 AM ET.

All of today's pictures can be viewed at this link:

I expect to have at least a couple of more posts before the Grand Reopening, including hopefully at least one more night time shoot...

One more time make sure you have marked Saturday June 18, 2011 on your calendar and plan on attending the Friendship Fountain and Park Grand reopening... 9:00 AM ET...

Until the next time, which could be soon ;)...


Friday, May 27, 2011

Night Time Light Test #FriendshipFountain

Last night anyone that was at The Landing or crossing the Main Street Bridge may have gotten a glimpse of the New Friendship Fountain in all it's glory. AC General arranged for a test run of the Fountain Lights and Music Programming which started around 6:30 PM ET and then really got going about 8:30 PM when the sun went down.

One highlight...

Still some issues to be worked out, which is exactly why they scheduled this test, but at times the Fountain performed better than I can ever remember. Including a short full pressure test which took the center ring to over 100 feet in height.

Folks from AC General, Delta Fountain, Southeast Electrical M.V. Cummings and JBC Planning and Engineering were on hand for the test.

(Martin Bryant - Project Manager (He's the one really who is really comfortable), Scott Johnston from Delta Fountains, Mike Carney with MVCE Engineers and Nick Mousa from JBC Planning & Engineering look on from the top of the Pump House, arguably the best seats in the house)

(Larry Summerville AC General Superintendent, Dave Bowen and Timmy Carter with Southeast Electrical and Danny Strickland with AC General look pleased with what they are seeing.)

One snippet of new information that came out is that the Outer rings can now pump more water than ever in the history of the Fountain and one effect is a dome effect of the outer ring completely covering the fountain.

(John McNeely with Delta Fountains running the actual programming for the test.)

Here is a twilight shot of the Fountain, the LED lights are just starting to be visible in the water streams.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to get video of the most impressive part of the test however i did get a short snippet when the test was complete of the Fountain clad in it's Jaguars Teal Colors :)

Impressive is the only word that I could think of as i watched the Fountain pumping in all it's glory. It has been years since the Fountain was able to perform at this level and it may be performing better than it ever has with the new pumps, the lighting is certainly far improved over any previous lighting and just takes your breath away at times...

All of the pictures I took last evening can be seen here:

More sod will be laid early next week, which by the way is Bermuda Tifway 419 grass, as well as additional lighting in the Park itself and hopefully there will be an additional night light test next week and if so you can bet I will be there.

Till next time,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

#FriendshipFountain and Park May 25, 2011 Update

Larry Summerville called me today to let me know that they were beginning to lay sod, so naturally I dropped everything ;) and ran on down to the Fountain.

Here is the first sod being laid...

An here is shot I took with a new App, Retro Cam, on my Dell Streak, which I call the "Beast"

Gives you an idea what everything will look like when all the green has been added.

I keep looking back at old pictures and still can't get over how much this renovation is changing the park and how much better it will be when completed.

Speaking of being completed remember that the grand reopening of Friendship Fountain and Park is scheduled for the Morning of Saturday Jun 18, 2011 and you will want to be sure to make plans to be there.

I also keep seeing pictures like the below image that once everything is done are just going to be awesome. Think of all the picture possibilities once all the sod is in place, it is going to be amazing...

The new flag poles have been set and the lamp posts are all in place...

Just needs some more grass and finishing touches and I have to tell you I am still amazed at the changes and how much improved everything will be when done.

Once again I must thank Larry Summerville and AC General for their cooperation with us during this renovation and how accommodating everyone has been, not to mention the sense of pride I have found in everyone working on the project.

Just a few more posts until June 18, when I hope to get to meet many of you that have been following these posts...

Till next time,

Friday, May 20, 2011

#FriendshipFountain and Park May 20, 2011 Update

Landscaping is the name of the game now at Friendship Fountain Park.

Holly Trees have been planted around the Pump house as well as a string of trees in the westdside terraced area. Additionally stands of what I have been told are Cord Grass have been planted in an area adjacent to the main walkway, around the palm trees and is still being planted in an area on the north east side of the Fountain.

The turf block has all been laid and filled in with dirt/planting soil... (you can see some of the Holly trees around the pump house as well)

Larry Summerville the Superintendent said that this coming week additional palm trees will be brought in and possibly starting to lay sod by the end of the week...

All in all really starting to shape up...

Don't forget to mark your Calendars for Jun 18, 2011 for the Grand reopening, we certainly hope to see as many folks as possible :)

Till next time,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Special Update - Center Ring

Larry Summerville called me yesterday to alert me that they would be doing a full pressure test of the fountain pumps and nozzles and I scampered on down to get a look.

That is Eric Beebe standing in front of the Fountain, he is about 6 foot tall for height comparison, and he also worked on the last Friendship Fountain refurb in the early 2000's.

As you can note the Center ring is being pushed to the right due to winds I would guess to be around 15 - 20 mph and caused severe water over spray that completely soaked the east side of the Park and required that the pumps be turned down to about 60 - 75%.

Here is a shot of the Pump control panel with (left to right) Eric Beebe, Danny Strickland and Larry Summerville, all from AC General, as they were powering up the pumps.

The park is starting to shape up and this week they are expecting new trees to be put into place and then they should be starting on laying the new sod...

I will have an update again this Friday if not sooner and if you want to get into the discussion there is a pretty active one going on at Metro Jacksonville Forums.

Till next time,

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Times Union: Friendship Fountain's new pumps get a workout

The Times Union mentions the testing of the pumps at Friendship Fountain and carries a link to one of the Panoramic Images we have here at

Thanks TU :)


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Special #FriendshipFountain Update - Water Flows

I received a call from Larry this morning that they were about to send water under pressure to the Fountain and I grabbed my camera and was on my way.

I was able to get a couple of quick pictures posted to Twitter from my cell phone, "The Beast", just to get the first images on the web :)

They are being very careful at this point and only placed full pressure on the center ring for a few minutes but it sure looked great.

Over the next few days they will be working on regulating the flow as well as getting the engineers to program the light and flow patterns for the planned water sequences...

There are just a few more sections of guardrail to be put into place and I understand some preliminary landscaping may start this weekend.

More pictures from my quick trip today are here:

I also got to meet Danny Strickland again as he was present to see the Fountain pump test and of course Larry Summerville, who I have mistakenly referred to as project manager when his actual title is Superintendent, was there and again I must thank Danny, Larry and everyone at AC General for their allowing my full access to the project and site.

Till next time,

Sunday, May 08, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7, 2011 Updates

I got the opportunity to get down to Friendship Fountain on Friday afternoon as usual but also took an extra trip down Saturday Morning...

New Panoramic image here:

It was busy on Friday, there had to be at least 20 workers on site, Pipe fitters installing the nozzles, Electricians working on lighting, AC General guys installing the guardrails and workers laying Turf Block.

Turf Block was being laid behind the Pumphouse. Turf Block is Designed to allow for a more natural look for an area that will experience vehicle traffic.

I wasn't able to get on the roof of the Pumphouse on Friday but was able to on Saturday morning to get some new overview pictures.

On Saturday I was also able to get down into the Fountain Pool once again and took some close-ups of the different ring sections as well as the got a close look at the work the electricians were doing.

See a 360 degree video taken from the exact center of the Fountain Pool.

There are 72 electrical connection boxes, each of which must be filled with a special insulating and sealing compound to completely waterproof the wiring.

As I mentioned the AC General guys were hard at work installing the new stainless steel guardrails which look really good.

The nozzles have all been placed back into place, they have all been reconditioned by AC General and look like they are ready for another 20 year stint...

The pipes have all had water pushed through them prior to the nozzles being replaced to clean out any loose material and sometime in the next week I expect to receive a call from Larry, the Project Manager, indicating they are ready to test the Fountain's full water features...

Until then...


Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 28, 2011 #FriendshipFountain Surprise Update

With setting a Grand reopening date of Jun 18, 2011 I felt like it would be nice to change to weekly updates to try and keep up as work would start moving at a feverish pace and today was the first of what I hope will be bi-weekly Thursday updates :)

My timing could not have been better as not only was work going on all over the Park but Ginny Walthour from the City of Jacksonville's Public Information Office along with a group of planners stopped by to visualize aspects of the Grand re-opening and it was a pleasure to meet her...

She was also kind enough to provide me a copy of the Artist's Rendering of the finished Park project as seen below. (with some modifications of my own)

As you can see in some of the pictures workers were all over the park including Larry, the site project manager, who was working with a pressure washer, though I suspect it was timed for myself, an Engineer and the City Planning Group who all arrived around the same time... No seriously, if you met Larry you would have no doubt he knows how to work and is willing to jump in when needed ;)

Got a chance to get down into the Fountain to get some pictures of the new LED lights and took the opportunity to get a panoramic view from the center of the Fountain (couldn't get a 360 degree pano due to technical difficulties)..

As I said lots going on and we will be trying to keep up with the various aspects as it "All comes together" counting down to Jun 18, 2011.

Until next time,