Gateway Fountain flows again

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June 14, 2004 // UPDATED 2:04 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

After a lengthy dry spell, the Gateway Fountain has started flowing again.

The fountain at 131 Hennepin Ave. S. had been in disrepair since 2002. Underground pipes supplying the fountain with water had corroded.

The Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA) pledged $25,000 toward the fountain.

DMNA Board Treasurer Gene Nessly, who lives at the Towers, 15 S. 1st St., led efforts to revive the dry fountain.

"It's back to its full glory," Nessly said.

The fountain cycles jets of water illuminated by colored lights at night.

The fountain sits in Gateway Park, which opened in 1915. The park served as a welcoming place for visitors to the city.

An old pavilion in the park once read, "The Gateway: More than her gates, the city opens her heart to you," according to a Minneapolis Public Library historical piece.

In the 1950s, developers razed over much of the Gateway District, which had since become known as the city's Skid Row area.

Several other city fountains went dry the summer of 2003 in the face of Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board budget cuts.

The Loring Park neighborhood group Citizens for a Loring Park Community mounted a similar fund-raising campaign last summer to keep its signature dandelion-shaped Berger Fountain running. The group raised about $16,000 for that fountain.