Monday, January 14, 2008

Roosevelt Island's Delacorte Water Geyser Was Bigger Than Mayor Bloomberg's East River Waterfalls

Delacorte Geyser Image by Judy Siegel.

Curbed:
didn't think public art installations could get more wacky than Long Island City's Floating Tree (a/k/a/ the Bird Condo) or the spooky tents of Roosevelt Island,...
but the NY Sun reports:
Olafur Eliasson, a Danish–Icelandic artist whose installation "The Weather Project" drew 2 million people to the Tate Modern in 2003 and 2004, has designed what will likely be the city's biggest public art project since Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "The Gates": a series of freestanding waterfalls in the East River.
And:
According to a source whom the mayor told about the project, the waterfalls will rise about 60 to 70 feet above the water — more than half as high as the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge. They will be visible from the area around the Seaport, from Brooklyn Heights, and from the Governors Island Ferry.
Roosevelt Islanders know that for many years there was a similar public art installation in the East River just off the southern tip of Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island. It was the Delacorte Fountain or Geyser that would shoot a stream of water not 60 or 70 feet, but 400 feet into the air. It was stopped in the late 1980's because some Sutton Place residents feared "liquid wastes" would be thrown in their faces from the spray. Oh my!
I guess it does not matter what gets thrown in the faces of tourists at the South Street Seaport!

Below is NY Sun's version of East River waterfall.


Here is artist Olafur Eliasson 2004 Waterfall project.


And Eliasson's 1998 Reverse Waterfall.


Thanks to Curbed reader Jazz Age for providing links to Olafur Eliasson's work.

UPDATE: 1/16- From Bloomberg News:
The New York City Waterfalls,'' created by artist Olafur Eliasson, will cascade from heights of 90 to 120 feet (27 to 37 meters), illuminated at night and visible from Manhattan's South Street Seaport.
And:
Constructed on scaffolding intended to mimic the look of buildings under construction, its design will be environmentally protective of fish that inhabit the river, and its pumps will be powered from the water current, Eliasson said.

``They are as real as any waterfalls; it is real water falling,'' Eliasson said of the project. ``The scaffolding supports are clearly visible and may be recognized as the same kind that has been used to build New York over the past century.''
With a 400 foot spray, Roosevelt Island's Delacorte Geyser was still bigger than the 120 feet New York City Waterfall cascade!

Also, watch out for the Waterfall spray from liquid waste that is dumped into the East River, particularly after a heavy rain storm. From blogger No Impact Man:
What happens is that both the household sewage from our homes and the storm water drainage from the streets and rooftops of the buildings come together in underground drainage pipes that take it all to wastewater treatment plants (click on the above diagram for a larger version). During a hard rain, however, those underground sewage pipes get overwhelmed and, to keep the sewage from backing up into our sinks and toilets, it gets dumped, untreated, through the CSOs into the rivers and waterways.
Images are from Bloomberg News.


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