Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Word About Fountains

The Women's Table, constructed in 1989 by sculptor Maya Lin (BA 1981, M.Arch 1986), commemorates the inclusion of women at Yale College, which began twenty years earlier, in 1969. The years and corresponding numbers indicate the number of women admitted into Yale each year. The fountain also one of the only water features New Haven has to offer.

A recent conversation with a worker has revealed that there are some long-term issues surrounding the fountain. There is a water line that has a leak, underneath, in a maintenance corridor within Bass Library. That has also attributed to the increase of dirt and debris which requires the fountain to be turned off and cleaned on a more regular basis. The other significant issue is that it has become slightly off balance. This could have been due to the presence of a crane a few years back, said the worker, who remains unnamed.  In order to correct the imbalance, the fountain would need to be lifted. A vein that runs along the marble could in fact fracture under its own weight.  The only way to properly repair that would be to wind a way to lift the structure underneath the circular surface; to lift it somehow at the base, to correct the balance. This would allow for the water to continue to run smoothly and evenly across every side again.

Public Questions
Recent graduates revel in women's liberation.
Can you name other water features in New Haven? What sort of challenges do seasonal changes create when dealing with public water decoration (fountains)?  And if freezing is an issue, how are the fountains in Montreal, for example, so abundantly numerous? Perhaps it requires work, to be beautiful. Maybe it requires effort to be well-maintained.

More Facts About Womens Table
Designer: Maya Lin
Year Built: 1989

Maya Lin also designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. when she was still an undergraduate. She was also the subject of an award-winning documentary.