September 11, 2021 | Celebrating 25 Years of the (New) Fountain at The Circle

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Friends and neighbors:

In September 1996, a few thousand people gathered in and around The Circle in Northbrae to dedicate the newly reborn Fountain at The Circle. The fountain, which replicated a landmark 1911 fountain that had been destroyed in a huge truck crash nearly 40 years before, was the result of an amazing community-led effort that also led to the restoration of adjacent Fountain Walk.

Twenty-five years later, the fountain and walk continue to be well-loved focal points of Northbrae and the wider Berkeley community. And the all-volunteer neighborhood nonprofit that was established for that project – Friends of the Fountain and Walk – continues its partnership with the City of Berkeley to ensure these community treasures are preserved and maintained.

We had hoped to host a celebration of the fountain’s silver anniversary this month, but have decided to postpone any event until the threat of the coronavirus eases. We hope that we may be able to gather safely sometime next year.

For now, we want to offer thanks to all those who have supported the work of Friends of the Fountain and walk through the years:

Thank you to the visionary and dedicated members of our community who came together in the early 1990s to rebuild the fountain and restore the walk. Among them: Phillip and Barbara O’Hay, Sara & Harvard Holmes, Linda Perry, Shirley Dean, Rob and Sandy Ludlow, Gerry Tierney, Charlie Wilson, Sarita Waite, Emmy Sortor and Gail Keleman.

Thank you to the many of those with the City of Berkeley who over the years have worked hand in hand with Friends of the Fountain and Walk to maintain and preserve these landmarks, most recently including Scott Ferris, Bruce Pratt and Melissa Marizette-Green of the parks department; Liam Garland and John Hurtado of the public works department; and our ever-supportive District 5 councilmember, Sophie Hahn.

Thank you to all those who have volunteered their time over the years on the first Saturday of each month to help keep The Circle and Fountain Walk clean and well-groomed. There are too many to name, but special thanks to some of our most dedicated workers: Bob Young, Richard Engle, Victor Fong, Ann Hasse, Charles King, Matt Senesky, Candy Simonen, Wendy Wells, Dave Nicely and Barbara Robben. Also to former board member Scott Dunlap and Holly Rose, and our terrific volunteer webmaster, Igor Zagatsky.

 

 

 

 

Thank you to the Circle and Walk neighbors who lend their support to FOFW’s efforts, including: Barbara Moses and Mitch Yoffe, John Buchanan & Bill Hamilton, Michael Curry,  Mike Hynes, Sheri Wong, Kate Campbell & Brian King, Sally & Dennis Smith, and Susie & Michael Iida.

Thank you to the hundreds of people who have supported FOFW by providing financial support over the years, allowing our nonprofit to pay for many needed improvements, from new parts for the fountain’s pumping system to replacement balusters for the historic balustrade around The Circle to lovely plantings along the walk to a new, more historically accurate fence recently installed above the north entrance to the Solano Tunnel. Listing all who have donated here is impossible. But a special thanks to this group of exceedingly generous donors: Jerry Kline, Charlotte von der Hude, Ron Saturno and Stan Lusardi, Frances Hellman and Warren Breslau, Malcolm and Ann Plant, Donald Brody and Toby Mickelson, Ednah Beth Friedman, Roger Myers and Erin McCormick, Erik Tarloff and Laura Tyson.

 

>Thanks to the merchants and artists who have donated proceeds from their sales to support FOFW, including most recently: photographers Ira Serkes and Steven Jenner, author Hope Alper, and Aiken clothing retailer Fred Whitefield.

And thanks, finally, to everyone who has been a part of the fountain and walk community over the past nearly three decades. And welcome to anyone who wants to become a part of that community going forward. You can learn about many ways to get involved at berkeleyfountain.org. Or contact us with ideas you might have to further the work of Friends of the Fountain and Walk by emailing us at fountainandwalk@gmail.com.

Here’s to the next 25 years!

— Board of Directors, Friends of the Fountain and Walk: Karen Borst-Rothe, Michael Gray, Christine & Dennis McIntyre, Pat McKee, Leo Rainer, Jim Reynolds, Steve Weindel, Charlie Wilson

 

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2 Comments

  • Candace Khanna says:

    The Fountain brings me joy every time I see it. My gratitude and respect to those who maintain it so well.

    • Friends of the Fountain and Walk says:

      Thank you, Candace. We are fortunate to have great community support from people like you for helping the city keep the fountain flowing.

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