Columbus, Ohio USA

August 2004


Pool Tour a Success
Fountain project moves forward

By Karen Edwards

Despite predictions of rain – and an eventual downpour – hundreds of pool enthusiasts from across the city turned out July 11 for the Friends of Goodale Park's historic pool tour.

Pat Lewis, who created the tour, says the first-ever event raised more than $4,000 toward the building of a fountain in Goodale Park.

"We had a steady crowd all day long," says Lewis of the one-day tour. She estimates that about 300 people visited the ten pools on the tour route.

"Many of the visitors I spoke with were pool owners themselves who had come on the tour to look for landscaping ideas," she says. Some told her they were thinking of building a pool and wanted to see the types of pools available. But most were just curious as to how the pools blended into the historic area, says Lewis.

Pool owners were on hand throughout the day to discuss their pools, and Lewis says they were pleased by the response.

"We heard 'awesome' a lot," says Lewis. Victorian Village residents also told her they never dreamed when they bought their homes years ago that they would, one day, be visiting neighborhood homes with pools.

Eventually, of course, these same neighbors – as well as other art and water enthusiasts – will be able to visit Goodale Park to see the fountain built from the pool tour's proceeds.

The process for creating the fountain has already started. The Brickstreet Art Association and the Friends of Goodale Park have received at least 53 entries in response to their "Call to Artists." Entries have come from as far away as Mexico and Japan – artists who create in mediums as diverse as ceramic, wood, steel, and stone and bronze.

Among the entrants is Gary Ross who designed the statue of Gov. James Rhodes located just across from the Statehouse.

A panel of nine area artists and architects will gather on August 4 to select four or five finalists. Each finalist will receive $1,000 to build a "mockette" of their design. These designs will be on view during the December Gallery Hop, and at the annual Friends of Goodale Park holiday gala.

"The public will be able to vote for their favorites," says Lewis.

Lewis is pleased that the pool tour has allowed the Goodale Park fountain project to move forward.

Although the next pool tour is unlikely to take place before 2006, Lewis says it may be held from 5 until 9 p.m., a candlelight tour, "to avoid the heat of the day," she says. She suggests everyone periodically check the Web site, for information about this and other community events.

With any luck, the next pool tour will also be able to avoid the drenching rains that soaked participants at the end of this year's tour. Not that a little rain actually dampened anyone's enthusiasm.

After all, you wouldn't expect people on a pool tour to be discouraged by a little water, would you?