Posts Tagged ‘19th Century Fountains New York City’

The old man and the heron on a Village fountain

September 26, 2013

JeffersonmarketfountainIs it possible to get tired of looking at the Jefferson Market building on Sixth Avenue and 9th Street in the center of Greenwich Village?

Constructed as a courthouse in 1877 and remodeled into a neighborhood library branch since the 1960s, it holds so many enchanting architectural surprises.

The castle-like exterior features “steeply sloping roofs, gables, pinnacles, Venetian Gothic embellishments, and an intricate tower and clock,” as the AIA Guide to New York City puts it.

Inside are wonderful gems as well: beautiful stained glass windows, lovely woodwork, and a grand spiral staircase.

JeffersonmarketfountainpelicanBut there’s one little treasure located where the building comes together under the clock tower that’s easy to miss.

It’s a small, Gothic-style water fountain with a basin, a lion’s head spout, and two curious reliefs.

One is of a pelican heron amid reeds and grass, a frog snared inside its beak. The second depicts an old man sitting beside a tree.

The old man looks like he’s taking a rest after a long journey. His hatĀ hangs on a branch and his walking cane at his side.

Jeffersonmarketfountainman2

He looks weary, and he’s contemplating something. But who is he?