Bailey Fountain Assessment & Contract Documents—Private

Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY

The Bailey Fountain is a grand Art Deco construction in the center of Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, New York. Sited behind the Memorial Arch at the main entrance to Prospect Park, the bronze and stone fountain depicts nude figures of a man and woman riding the ship of Brooklyn through an inland sea. Nerieds trumpet the ship and a lounging, Bacchus-like Neptune takes up the rear. A sense of movement was created by special sprayers that spray water at the ship’s prow and high into the air.

The fountain suffered from deterioration due to neglect when our conservators were engaged to assess conditions, develop treatment plans and prepare contract documents for its restoration. The fountain had not operated for at least a decade. Many bronze elements had been lost or removed due to vandalism. One Neried was in storage, Neptune’s triton was lost, and the bronzes had suffered typical bronze surface deterioration. The quartzite had fallen or been lost and the copings were heaved and displaced. The basin leaked and had been repeatedly coated with paint.

A conditions assessment including historic background research was completed, new mechanical systems were engineered, and a restoration plan developed. After approval by the city, the plan developed into contract documents which were used to restore the fountain.