Iconic Fountain in Boise’s Ann Morrison Park Scheduled for Removal and Replacement
If you're a parent having to constantly trying to hold back your kids from trying to climb into the fountain, you'll love the changes to coming to Ann Morrison Park. If you're a sucker for nostalgia, you're going to be heartbroken.
Earlier this week, one of my friends noticed signage set-up near Ann Morrison Park's iconic fountain giving guests a heads up that the fountain is scheduled to be replaced this fall. A few days later, Boise Parks and Recreation posted a photo of the same sign on their Facebook page. According to their post, the fountain as we know it is being removed to make way for a new fountain that's more kid friendly. The new design will be interactive and more splash pad like. It'll also include new LED lighting features. The upgrade is a partnership between the city, the Harry W. Morrison Foundation and Morrison Knudsen Foundation. Ideas for the new fountain were being tossed around as early as 2016.
I still remember the very first time that I saw the fountain at Ann Morrison Park in 2010. It had only been a couple weeks since I moved to Boise and I was in the park for the first time to be part of the inaugural Boise Music Festival. If you know me, you know I have no sense of direction whatsoever so I was scurrying around trying to figure out where I was supposed to be. When I saw the fountain, that anxiety melted away and I just stared at how high the water shot toward Boise's scorching summer sun. I thought it was so cool and over the years, I came to appreciate the mist it threw off while I tried to cool down from some hot greenbelt runs.
Of course, if you've lived in Boise for a long time you remember the fountain looking MUCH different than it does today. When Harry Morrison's memorial to his late wife, Ann, opened to the public in 1959, the fountain was in the center of a large reflecting pond. In the popular "Boise & the Treasure Valley History - All of Idaho's History" group on Facebook, members reminisce about having their class yearbook signing parties near that pond.
For many years, the fountain changed colors at night and played music. Group member, Brad Frazer said his dad used to provide the soundtrack for the fountain. He remembers tagging along to a small utility closet near the fountain where the tape decks and timers were stored and helping his dad switch out the tapes.
Eventually, the reflecting pool was filled in with concrete and raised to create the fountain that we know today. It still used the original plumbing.
The changes being made to the fountain are just a small part of a much larger Ann Morrison Park improvement project. You can read more about the campaign HERE. While you visit that page, click "Then & Now" under the Park History tab to see what the park looked like when it was dedicated 62 years ago. It includes a photo of that original reflecting pool!