6 Exclusive First Look Photos of Boise’s New Ann Morrison Park Fountain
The first signs announcing the demolition of Ann Morrison Park’s famous fountain went up in the Spring of 2021. Those signs promised parkgoers that the fountain would replace with something new “soon,” but here we are two years later.
It seems like the entire fountain project has moved slower than anyone anticipated. Those original signs said that “soon” was in the fall of 2021, but the fountain itself wasn’t demolished until late February 2022.
The old fountain was one of the most striking landmarks in the city, but time hadn’t been kind to it. As you keep reading, you’ll get to see some photos of what the original fountain looked like when the park was dedicated in 1959. It used to have a reflecting pool, but that was filled in and raised in the 1990s.
While those changes gave the fountain a new look, it still used the original plumbing from the late ‘50s. As the fountain aged and those parks began to leak, it became increasingly difficult to find parts to fix the pipes. Knowing how much the fountain meant to the community, the City of Boise continued to McGuyver the thing back together for as long as they could.
Even though the fountain was beautiful, it was a safety hazard. The raised pool wasn’t designed for swimming but every summer, kids would scale the walls and try to swim in it. Spray from the fountain would also make the aging cement very slippery, making it a painful fall hazard.
When the city began working on a park upgrade project with the Harry W. Morrison Foundation in 2016, these were both factors in the decision to remove and replace the fountain with something that was safe, refreshing and interactive!
Until recently, we’ve only seen renderings of what the new fountain would look like! The City of Boise’s website explained that the new design would include a 70-foot-long water tunnel, multiple water jets and LED lighting. The water won’t spring as high as the old fountain, but the jets will be able to scale about seven feet. It’s surrounded by curved benches with their own waterfalls on either side.
As summer gets closer, we thought we’d pop over to Ann Morrison Park to see where construction on the project was at. We were surprised to see that, while still fenced off, the fountain was on and being tested! The fountain itself looks mostly complete but there’s still a lot of landscaping to do around the new foundation and rubberized surface.
In an interview with KTVB’s Viewpoint, Boise Parks and Rec revealed that the fountain project cost almost $2 million. Donations from the Harry W. Morrison Foundation and Morrison Knudsen Foundation helped reduce the amount of city dollars used on the project.
Right now, the “Come Pay! Campaign” website says that they’re planning a public grand opening on May 31 at 4 p.m. It also mentions Phase Two of the project. Phase Two will eventually add six new, metal-encased water spouts that will shoot high in the sky, reminding people of the fountain that came before this one.
Here are some photos we shot through the fence of the new fountain being tested and the new donor portal sculpture.
Author’s Note: Some of the information may be redundant, but if you’re interested in the history of the fountain and what it looked like when it had a reflecting pool, this article ends with a gallery of old photos! (It’s from a story we wrote about the construction in the Spring of 2022.)