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City looks to pull the plug on water fountains and pool

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The reflection pool that has decorated the front of Hamilton’s City Hall for more than 50 years could soon disappear after the Corporation approved a plan to fill in the scenic spot.

What will be done with the area once the pool has been filled in has yet to be decided.

During a meeting of the City of Hamilton yesterday, Deputy Mayor John Harvey said the Property Committee had discussed what to do with the pool, which is currently dry because of a leak.

“To make it blunt, it would be best to fill it in. Close it up,” he said. “There are no plans, there is nothing I can show you at this stage, but this is what we are looking at.”

City Engineer Patrick Cooper said that the work would be done in two phases, the first being tearing out and filling in the existing structure and growing grass where the fountain currently lies.

Phase two would consist of building whatever new structure is decided in the future.

He noted that maintaining the reflection pool had proved a costly endeavour with the pool experiencing frequent leaks and, when full, requiring regular cleaning and upkeep.

There have also been some issues with vagrants in the city using the pool to bathe. The Corporation voted unanimously to move forward with the proposal.

The pool, designed by renowned architect Will Onions, was opened along with the City Hall building in 1960. During its construction, it was an element of contention, with then-mayor Chesley White being convinced passer-bys would fill it with trash, suggesting to colleagues that it should be filled in as a rock garden.

Both Mr White and Mr Onions died before the project was completed.

Since its completion, the pool has been decorated with several sculptures by acclaimed Bermudian artist Desmond Fountain.

l Should the City of Hamilton keep the pool? Yes or no. E-mail jdeacon[AT]royalgazette.bm

All dried up: The City Hall fountain on Nellies Walk is slated to be filled in.
All dried up: The City Hall fountain on Nellies Walk is slated to be filled in.

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Published March 09, 2012 at 8:36 am (Updated March 09, 2012 at 8:35 am)

City looks to pull the plug on water fountains and pool

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