Why Was The Detroit Merrill Fountain Moved From Campus Martius To A Park?
There are a lot of landmarks in Detroit that people have always associated with Downtown, whether it's the Broderick Tower, also known as the "whale building," Comerica Park, Fillmore Detroit or the Fox Theatre. There are a lot of different spots downtown you still get that old world feeling, especially in Campus Martius Park, where thousands come every year, especially to skate in the winter time. But there was once a landmark in the park which people really came to love, The Merrill Fountain, that was beautifully crafted in front of Detroit Opera House in 1901. But at some point, they decided to relocate it, as Historic Detroit explained:
Sen. Palmer, a businessman in addition to being a politician, donated a huge swath of land that became the basis of Palmer Park - one of Detroit's best known public venues. When Woodward Avenue was widened, the large fountain was relocated to Palmer Park in 1925 in an effort to ease traffic congestion downtown. The park bearing the family's name was deemed an appropriate place to move the fountain. It was, Ferry noted, "a more idyllic setting."
There was also talk at the time according to newspapers that they had a problem with people going into the fountain and stealing pennies that people had thrown in. Now, the fountain which hasn't worked in almost 100 years, continues to sit in the park and is slowly losing its once impressive beauty. Many vandals have taken portions of the fountain, along with the natural deterioration that occurs in a fountain that's 121 years old.
One person even went as far as saying someone should be held responsible for its current state:
It should be moved back to its original location and restarted as a fountain. And those who decided to move it away should be punished.
Aside from digging up graves and beating up corpses, I don't think there will be any justice as far as the fountain is concerned, but who knows, it may have a future chance to return to a working state. Until then, it stands as a great piece of Detroit history.