Changes to iconic Houston fountain halted amid outcry

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Steve Campion takes a look at changes made to an iconic Houston fountain (KTRK)

So called "upgrades" for an iconic Houston fountain are now in limbo. Preservationists fought to halt work on the Mecom Fountain near Hermann Park. They argued limestone additions to the more than 50-year-old water feature aren't an improvement. Rather, they're a mistake.

The stone work is part of "The Grand Gateway" project which is funded by the federal government, overseen by TxDOT, with collaboration from the city of Houston. It's an effort to spruce up the entrance to Hermann Park. Steve Curry with preservation group Houston Mod said they're happy crews stopped drilling into the fountain.

"It's not appropriate to the fountain. The fountain is a free-standing element of elegant simplicity. It's much loved as is and these improvements in this case aren't upgrades at all. The fountain is greatest as a standalone," said Curry. "It doesn't need a face lift. It's not a lily that needs to be gilded. It doesn't need a tutu. It's a beautiful thing on its own."

Curry and others formed the group "Friends of the Fountain." They want to raise 60,000 dollars to undo the work done to the Mecom Fountain and restore it to its original condition. For more information on their crowdsourcing efforts, visit

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's office released the following statement to abc13:

"At the request of Mayor Turner, TXDOT agreed to stop work on the fountain two weeks ago. The city will have to reimburse TXDOT for the money already spent. Friends of the Fountain has been created to help raise the dollars needed to reimburse TXDOT for work that was already done as well as cover any costs associated with a move forward plan for the fountain. Mayor Turner is committed to a restoration plan that has the support of local preservationists and is in keeping in with the fountain's historical significance."

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