Boulevard of Broken Streams

By Debbie Anderson September 9, 2019 November 6th, 2019 No Comments

By Lee Williams

If Southlake’s mayor has her way, the beleaguered Park Village fountain will be replaced with public art worthy of the high-profile corner at Southlake Boulevard and Carroll Avenue.

Had Southlake Mayor Laura Hill evoked Howard Beale’s prophetic line from Network — “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” — when disparaging the bone-dry Park Village fountain, a mob of Southlake residents would likely have joined in.

The fountain, which takes up prime real estate at the corner of Southlake Boulevard and Carroll Avenue, has been mostly without a pulse since 2017.

“The vision was that there would be a fountain that was a mini version of the Bellagio,” with music that would sync with dancing streams of water, Hill tells 76092, referencing Las Vegas’ most famous fountain.

But, in a speech this summer at a Chamber luncheon, Hill proclaimed, “If you’re waiting for the Bellagio, that ship has sailed.”

She said the city has offered to partner with ShopCore Properties, which manages the popular retail and restaurant development, to finally fix the problem. City staff met with ShopCore reps in late August to discuss the fountain, and those conversations are expected to continue this fall.

ShopCore did not return emails seeking comment.

The Park Village fountain has been mostly out of service since 2017.
Photo by Ralph Lauer

The fountain’s colorful dancing streams of water are just a memory.
Photo by Jeffrey Wooten

If Hill has her way, the city will replace the fountain with a “big, beautiful moving piece of art,” she says. “It could include an element of water, but not a fountain. The focus would be on art.”

Workers have toiled off and on for two years trying to repair the fountain, but the success rate has been low, adding to the steady stream of not-so-nice comments on social media.

Our favorite, from a Facebook post: “The Southlake Trevi. The last time it worked, Michelangelo had been commissioned to chisel a nice statue.”

Hill caught some slack for suggesting the fountain should be nuked. “Surely they knew I was joking,” she says.

Hill was a member of the Southlake City Council in 2013 when it OK’d the fountain to be built by developers.

She says if an agreement can be worked out, the city could use hotel tax revenue to make the high-visibility spot something special.

“We had high aspirations when we approved that fountain,” she says. “I feel bad for everybody that it didn’t work. Now we just need to develop that corner into something that will work.”