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Hot summer days at the International Fountain, Seattle

Parent Category: Attractions
in Seattle
Created: 08 November 2016


Photo of International Fountain at Seattle Center, Seattle Address: 305 Harrison Street, Seattle,WA 98109

Phone: (206) 684-7200

Hours: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Pictures below will take you to an incredible place where joy and happiness prevail. Enjoy the views!

General Information:

Photo of International Fountain at Seattle Center, Seattle

Created quite a long time ago, in the year 1962 during the preparation for the World’s Fair, Seattle Center now is one of the must-visit places for the tourists and one of the favorite entertainment centers for the residents of Seattle and surroundings. It can easily be found if you drive northward of Belltown to Lower Queen Ann. This amazing place, which is extended over the 74-acre’s territory, is well-known not just by numerous events, which are held there, but also by a variety of attractions among which is the iconic Space Needle, many museums, gardens and diverse open-air artworks of different artists and designers.

In the middle of the Seattle Center’s open area you can enjoy one of its main attractions – the International Fountain. The history of this incredible huge water sculpture started together with the history of Seattle Center itself, as its construction began in 1961 so that it could exhilarate the visitors of the World’s Fair in 1962.

Photo of International Fountain at Seattle Center, Seattle

Kazuyuki Matsushita and Hideki Shimizu are Japanese architects, who designed this amazing centerpiece of the Seattle Center. Their idea was to create not just a fountain, but a meaningful sculpture which could symbolize the efforts of humans to investigate the most remote corners of the outer-space. 

At that time, actually since 1962 and till 1995, the fountain had quite different appearance. The fountain itself had the appearance of a stone bowl of enormous size (with the diameter of about 185 feet), and around it a "lunar landscape" was recreated with the use of crushed white stones (limestone). In the middle of the "bowl" there was a dome made of plates, with a variety of sharp nozzles overspread around it. Moreover, people could not come close to the water jets of the fountain, because it was unsafe and could cause injuries.

Photo of International Fountain at Seattle Center, Seattle

In 1995 the restoration and renovation of the fountain gave it the second birth. The original form of the fountain was maintained, but its inside part was considerably renewed and changed. The main goal of the renovation was to make the fountain “visitors-friendly”. First of all the old dome, which was literally scattered with spiny and insecure nozzles, was dismantled and changed with a new giant dome made out of the stainless steel with the plate-sized silver nozzles. The new dome is encircled by a ring of lights and a ring of water jets. The limestone that covered the bottom of the “fountain bowl” was changed to a concrete surface which has a special texture the intended use f which was to preserve the "lunar landscape" appearance. The fountain became music-synchronized and programmed with a wide variety of performances, amazing the visitors every hour with a “big show”, and between these water programs the basic configuration of the fountain (fleur-de-lis) is used. 

Today 274 nozzles of the fountain use a huge amount of water with the total capacity of 9,000 gallons to create a fantastic show which mesmerizes millions of tourists and local residents every year. The water in this dancing fountain is recycled and is really clean as it passes through three different types of treatment and only then reaches again the public. 

Now at the northern part of the fountain you can find an opening in the low concrete sidewall surrounding the fountain with the ramps, which run down to the bottom of fountain basin, providing an access to the fountain dome for the visitors and making it accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. 

Photo of International Fountain at Seattle Center, Seattle

The “fountain bowl” is surounded with a paved walk with comfortable benches and beautiful lawns behind it. A perfect place to spend a hot summer day at. Even if you are not fond of getting wet in the refreshing sprays of the fountain, you can just sit there enjoying good music and taking delight in pure joy, happiness and freedom of the kids gamboling around, playing with the water, and fantastic views of Space Needle towering in the close proximity to the fountain. 

Staying there, soaking up the atmosphere it’s hard to resist the desire to join the children in their water games. International Fountain is the place where adults become children again, forgetting conventionalities and enjoying life in the moment.

Usually the International Fountain is working every day starting from 10 a.m. till 9 p.m., throughout the whole year, but you should remember that after the major events or festivals it can be closed (for cleaning reasons).

These pictures were taken on August 31, 2016

Map:

In order to get directions click on the link below

 

 

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska

Information: Svetlana Baranova

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