Sunday, June 09, 2013

Coles Fountain

Almost opposite the Princess Theatre in Spring Street, Melbourne is the Parliament Gardens, a small fenced triangular park at the northern end of State Parliament. 


Within the gardens is the modern Coles Fountain. As were many of our city's fountains, it was built with donated money, in this case funds from G.J. Coles and Coy Limited. Coles has a long and proud history in Victoria and Australiawide and is still a very successful company with its supermarkets, hardware stores, service stations and other chains of business. The fountain is made of stainless steel sitting on durable bluestone paving and in the shape of a C. C for Coles. Get it? Construction was completed in 1981.

During the long Australian drought of the early 2000s, the fountain was shut down to conserve our water supply and a terribly ugly fence wire fence erected around it. Most Melbourne fountains have been converted to recycle water now, but given how much they used, it was a drop in the ocean of conserving water and should never have been turned off. Anyone for a little symbolism? 


On a still day, you can stand in the centre of the C and remain dry. The day was not quite still enough for me. A sudden gust would have had me 'satched', as the Sister used to say in the eighties.


It must be wonderful for kids to play in on a hot summer's day. Grace in Perth showed us an 'interactive water feature' yesterday, again great for kids on a hot day.


Strange colour. I must have accidentally pressed something on the camera, easy to do with a touch screen. Don't buy one.


It has its own an anemometer, presumably to shut the fountain down if it is too windy and the water is going everywhere.



Here is a link to a night time photo of the fountain.

22 comments:

  1. A bit like Sydney's El Alamein Fountain at Kings Cross which operates best on a breathless day. Just a pity there is virtually never a breathless moment in Sydney let alone a full day without so much as a zephyr breeze.

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    1. Victor, that fountain has always behaved perfectly when we have seen it. We must have been lucky it has not been windy. I think it is far windier in Melbourne.

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  2. Nice fountain. I've seen it on a visit to Melbourne but never really looked at it. You did a great job describing it.

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    1. Thanks Bill. I've been past it many times, but that was the first time I stopped to look at it.

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  3. It's an unusual structure, very modern with all the steel, but quite pretty. I love the night time photo and I went over and had a look at Grace's photo too, stunning.

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    1. River, modern things can work well surrounded by old, can't they. Grace is very good with the shutter.

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  4. It's a rather cool fountain indeed.

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    1. Cool Coles fountain Fen. Works in so many ways.

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  5. Wow 'anemometer' - I learn something everyday on blogs. who knew? I do know the wind scale is the Beaufort Scale.
    Yes the fountain water is a drop in the ocean and it should not be turned off, but reticulated (?) like carwashes do.
    The 5 Coles brothers would be appalled if they saw what their business has become these days.

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    1. Ann, I thought it was a word everyone knew. I did have to check the spelling. The brothers five might like how profitable the company has become.

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  6. oh wow the night photo is wonderful. thanks

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    1. It is Ann. I have a feeling it was taken by blogger Adam Dimech.

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  7. I always wondered what the anemometer was for (I didn't even know it was called an anemometer).

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    1. Ad Rad, now I am wondering why I know what it is.

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  8. I like it very much Andrew - slightly industrial design adjacent to parkland and historic buildings. A great combination.

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    1. Craig, it seems to work well enough at that location.

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  9. They really are super fun for the kids (big or small) on a hot day. I'll have to find out if our new feature has an anemometer Andrew. I enjoyed very much the mention of 'satched', we still say that sometimes even now 'oh man I'm satched' haha!

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    1. Grace, satched may have fallen out of favour for a while because it stopped raining for a few years.

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  10. In Sheffield we had a famous store called COLE BROTHERS

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    1. Past tense John? A department store, I guess.

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  11. I don't like commercial and private development in public spaces, and the C is just advertising, but the fountain is actually lovely. And it was placed in a really nice part of town where the old buildings have not been crowded out by ugly sky scrapers.

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    1. Hels, I do recall there was controversy about it at the time.

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