A group is mobilizing to try to bring a nearly forgotten Bloomington landmark back to life. The so called Trotter Fountain is more than a century old. It's in what is now tiny Withers Park in front of a bank on Washington Street. And Georgie Borchardt of the Trotter Fountain Project says the elements have not been kind to the Native American maidens, children, and animals carved on the eleven foot edifice.
She says there are also black stains of unknown origin that date back at least to the 1960s.
Borchardt says resurfacing the marble on the sculpture by the studio of famed Chicago artist Larado Taft is probably impractical. But, the project is looking for experts in ways to clean the fountain and perhaps relocate it indoors where it will not deteriorate further. They also hope to raise money for restoration. The fountain was dedicated to a former Mayor of Bloomington, John Trotter and his sister Georgina, the first woman on the Bloomington School Board. They were from a prominent Irish American family that settled in the Kappa-El Paso area and then moved to Bloomington. The fountain sat in front of the long gone Withers Library. Borchardt says there is even a legend that one of the carvers fell in love with a Bloomington librarian and carved a secret inscription to the lady somewhere on the statue.
Borchardt says the project has been told that Sulptors use water to carve marble so having water run down two faces of the edifice is not a great idea. She says there are now sealers that can help halt the erosion, so moving the piece of art indoors may not be necessary.
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