Bryant Park: Shaw Lowell Fountain Restoration – New York NY


The NYC Parks Department website explains that: “Architect Charles A. Platt (1861–1933) designed this elegant black granite ornamental fountain to commemorate social worker and reformer Josephine Shaw Lowell (1843–1905). Shaw, who is said to be the first woman to be honored by a major monument in New York City, was the first female member of the New York State Board of Charities, serving from 1876 to 1889.

The Memorial Committee that worked to build the fountain originally wanted it placed in Corlear’s Hook Park on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, near where Shaw focused her energies. Instead, the fountain, with its 32-foot-wide lower basin and 13-foot-wide upper basin, was ultimately installed at the east side of Bryant Park in 1913. In 1936 the fountain was moved to the west side of the park. The fountain was refurbished as part of an overall restoration of the park by the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, completed in 1992.”

In the 1930s, the sculpture was restored with federal funding under Karl Gruppe, “chief sculptor of the Monument Restoration Project of the New York City Parks Department, from 1934 to 1937.” The program was initially supported by federal funding from the Public Works of Art Project (Lowrey, 2008), and later by the WPA.

Source notes

NYC Parks - Josephine Shaw Lowell
Parks Monuments Conservation Crew Vintage Film, NYC Parks Site
Lowrey, Carol. 2008. A Legacy of Art: Paintings and Sculptures by Artist Life Members of the National Arts Club.
NYC Parks - Cooper Triangle

Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on March 12, 2016.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Bryant Park
New York, NY 10018

Coordinates: 40.7540516, -73.984262

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