Keeping Cool in Hotlanta–Stonehenge Sculpture AND Fountain

photo by Simon Burrow, used with permission

One of our highly paid and intensively trained henge-spotters* was on duty in Atlanta Georgia recently and spotted this Stonehenge sculpture fountain, entitled Stonehenge 2000. Unfortunately we know very little else about it.

It was created by Blood, Sweat, and Steel sculpture shop, under the leadership of an Alex H. with the help of someone named either Chip or Dan, who now works at Etowah Iron Works. Who commissioned it and why the reference to Stonehenge is a mystery. If any readers know or find further information about it, please write to us or put it in the comments so we can add it to the post!

Stonehenge sculptures are not unusual. People who do large sculptures seem to use Stonehenge as a sort of fall-back idea. Stonehenge fountains are not so easy to find. Offhand we can think of the Notre Dame fountain, one of the sculptures at Caelum Moor in Texas, the one at Falling Water Designs in Monroe, Washington, and possibly the odd Stonehenge in Mountain View California, although we’ still don’t know about that one.

And then there’s that Waterfall fountain trilithon we posted that time–probably better forgotten. But why make a Stonehenge fountain at all, one might ask. Just one of those mysteries of the human mind, we suppose. Someone thinking, “Stonehenge is brilliant, but it would have been perfect if it were a water feature!” A surprising number of hengers feel deep down that they could do better than Stonehenge’s original builders.

Stonehenge 2000 has two curved and unusually shaped trilithons standing in water. It isn’t actually much like Stonehenge, is it? Score: 4½ druids. That extra half is for naming it after Stonehenge. (Please note: this is not a score judging it as a sculpture or as a piece of public art. We strongly approve of Stonehenge-related public sculpture! This score only judges its qualities as a Stonehenge replica. And let’s face it–not so much.)

Before we go, we’re going to throw in another Stonehenge-related sculpture that has been lurking on our backlog list for a long time: Toronto’s Gateway to Understanding. The text on a Flickr page showing a picture of it reads, “The Gateway to Understanding, Harbourfront, Toronto, ON. To commemorate the Earth Spirit Festival held in July 1991. Through dialogue and cultural exchange, tolerance and understanding awaken within us. This structure will stand tall and bold as a symbol of the earth spirit. By David Ruben Piqtoukun.” He is an Inuit artist and we get the sense he is using the trilithon form for its portal/gate qualities more than as a Stonehenge replica, but we thought it deserved a mention. And we like the idea of the rough stone trilithon as a symbol of the earth spirit. That may be what that grey original huddled on Salisbury Plain was all about, (even if it was longing for some water to be pumped through it!).

There are more Stonehenge sculptures and we may get to more of them over time. For now we will be pondering whether to add these two to the list of Large Permanent Replicas. Input is welcome, but we will probably at least add the Atlanta fountain one of these days when we’re feeling less lazy.

And, of course, in the meantime, friends, happy henging!

*Or– maybe it was friend of the blog Simon Burrow stumbling across it on an unrelated business trip…despite all the money we waste on those henge spotters!

Stonehenge of Notre Dame, Indiana

photo by Michael Bohn, aka digitalbohn, used with permission

Okay, so how did this get by us for so long? Known variously as the Clarke Peace Memorial Fountain, Clarke Memorial Fountain, War Memorial Fountain and Notre Dame’s Stonehenge, this may be the only Stonehenge-referenced sculpture on the campus of a Roman Catholic university. It consists of four huge trilithons and five fountains, one for each trilithon and one rising from the sphere at the center of the monument. The taker of the photos toward the bottom of this post, a man we know only as John and by his Flickr name, Imazing, tells us, “This center fountain crashes down onto the sphere, creating a beautiful effect, especially during the night time when it is lit up.” You can see it here. Amazing photo!

The proportions of the trilithons echo the architecture of the Theodore M. Hesburgh Library which stands behind it, as you can see in the same picture.  As an interesting aside, another side of the library , seen on the left, displays a huge mural that depicts Jesus, the central figure in Christianity, teaching. Around Notre Dame, a school known for its American football team, this mural is affectionately known as Touchdown Jesus because his arms are in the position used by referees to signal a successful goal, or “touchdown” in American football.

On this page we find this paragraph about the fountain, “A survey published in a recent edition of The Dome revealed that 68 percent of Notre Dame’s senior class had run through the waters of Clarke Memorial Fountain at least one time. Certainly an even larger percentage has gravitated here to study, socialize, and even dance in the shadow of this campus landmark. Perhaps the lure of the fountain lies in the hauntingly timeless appeal of its mammoth form, which noted New York architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee (Notre Dame class of 1956) purposely designed to mimic the mystical, monolithic monuments built in Britain during the Bronze Age. Not surprisingly, its nickname is Stonehenge.

Okay, yes, as you point out, you pedant, surely they mean megalithic rather than monolithic here. But it does show that the sculptors did have Stonehenge in mind, not the case, we’re told, about the campus sculpture commonly called Stonehenge at the University of California at San Diego. We must say it does have a nice looming effect. We like it much more than the Rolla Stonehenge at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. That one is more functional, though, while this is just, well, art. There’s something very robotic about that Rolla unit.

We found this Stonehenge, by the way, while browsing the Stonehenge page of a website on Peace Monuments Around the World. Thanks to them for that and for linking to us! There is more information and many more pictures of this monument on the Historical Marker Database.

The monument at night, photo used by permission

As for score: 6½ druids, which is what we gave to Rolla. We’re pleased to be adding another campus Stonehenge, another Stonehenge fountain and another to our list of Large Permanent Replicas, all at once! Who knows what further henging delights may be lurking out there?

Hope you’re enjoying the summer, or winter if you’re in the–heh–lower hemisphere! ;-)  Happy henging!

Third photo by Imazing, used with permission. Touchdown Jesus photo is in the public domain.

Mountain View, California–It’s a Mystery!

photos by Ghostly Penguin Display (aka Khoi), with permission

We said we weren’t going to post any more but we can’t stand knowing of large permanent replicas and not posting them! People count on us for their Stonehenge replica information. Well, in our dreams, anyway!

We actually knew there was some kind of little Stonehenge in Mountain View, California, but until now we had never seen a picture of it. Then one day recently we were idly searching the interwebular thing-a-majiger and, voilá! Here is this odd little sculpture/replica trilithon/circle in a park. With photos by a fellow of the excellent name Ghostly Penguin Display. (No, sorry, we don’t know why either.) Well, obviously we have to post it.

But what is it? We have stared at these pictures for a while, before and after doig searches to see if there’s any info online about this. We found nothing Perfect! That leaves us free to make up whatever we want.

The most alarming thing about this one is that grate under the trilithon. We had to reject out of hand (so to speak!) the theory that it might be an outdoor urinal. Even California is not that funky. And then there’s that strange screen between the uprights, with the pattern of holes in it. Astronomical sighting holes, lining up with sunrises and sets? Stars? The moon? Unlikely with that configuration, although it’s likely that at least one of them will line up with something.

No, the conclusion we have come to, and we plan to stick to it even if the designer or someone points out that we’re wrong (which is not unlikely), is that this piece, although dry now, was designed as a fountain.

Which makes it our third Stonehenge fountain–fourth if you count one built on an old fountain. There was the Falling Water Designs replica, the Warwick University replica (small and temporary), and, of course, the first replica that caused us to use the word lameness in a post, the Waterfall Stonehenge, for sale now. There’s actually another, since one of the trilithons at Caelum Moor in Texas is a fountain, too, although most photos don’t show it running.

Clearly there’s a pattern here, and we think this is the best explanation for this odd yet charming construction. We like the circle of low stones around it, suitable for people to sit on and listen to the falling water while reading or just thinking, or trying not to think. We want one of these in our town’s park!

Score: 6 druids. We may have been influenced by the nice light captured by our Ghostly Penguin friend. We admit we’re a little mysified, too, by that tree or trees just behind it. A young flowering tree with supports? A small grove with some young white birches? We can’t quite figure it out, but that’s okay. Stonehenge is supposed to be a mystery.

And, yes, we have a couple more to come including a nice German one we had somehow missed. See you soon. Happy Thanksgiving to our Stateside readers!

Waterfall Stonehenge, A Gift for Your Garden

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photo from Opulent Items website

It’s not for every garden. But look: you do not need to erect huge stones in order to have “this aquatic Stonehenge replica” in your garden. Just assemble the metal encasement and fill it with the Mexican pebbles. Voila! Just like a Stonehenge trilithon but even better because there’s a pump cycling water through it to create a constant waterfall. Heh.

So what if it looks like a standing gabion? [Admit it--you learned a new word just then!] The website says: “The serene sights and sounds of the flowing waterfall is a gift to any patio setting. . . . Ideal if seeking very unique outdoor decor ideas.” It is very unique, and its sights and sounds is a gift.

This isn’t our first Stonehenge water feature. Remember this? After seeing this one, we almost feel we should have given that one another druid or two. In fact, if this weren’t called “Waterfall Stonehenge” we probably wouldn’t even be looking at it. But it’s good to have a post about something like this once in a while, isn’t it? Pointing out lameness can be fun if done in moderation.

Score:  3½ druids, and that’s generous. Not, we hasten to say, that it might not be just the special feature one needs for that certain garden (after all , it is only $5,500), and a miniature version might even be a charming touch for some of those miniature gardeners out there. You know who you are!

Splash Stonehenge Replica, Monroe, Washington

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photo from the website of Falling Water Designs

Why couldn’t Stonehenge be a fountain? As a matter of fact, English Heritage, it is not too late! Make that tunnel you’d been planning a little smaller, put pipes in it, and have a water feature expert come in and design the water flow . . .

Well, maybe not, but to make up for it, Rick Perry, owner of Falling Water Designs in Monroe, Washington (yes, Washington! We’ll get back to that), outside Seattle, created this remarkable partial-Stonehenge-replica water feature of what looks like real stone to us. We know that Rick or someone he works with has a mild case of megalithia* because of other photos on the website.

This seems to be made of two trilithons at an angle to one another, a configuration we haven’t seen before. Score: 5½ druids. Yes, it is ridiculous, but that element of humour might help the thing remain a pleasure over time. Hmm . . . do you think, if we slow the water down, we could grow mosses?

Anyway, it is Washington State again. Despite Michigan’s desperate attempts at holding its title, like a woodhenge we’ve heard of but can’t seem to find and an odd snowmobile “hinge” that doesn’t quite make the henginess cut, it looks like Washington State has usurped the coveted title of The Stonehenge State. And we still have a Washington replica we have yet to show you! What is going on up there??

* a condition, rarely fatal unless combined with clumsiness, which creates a compulsion to erect megaliths