Fort Worth’s Water Garden

I’m back in Saint Louis! Work on Thursday went well. The meeting broke at noon, we had lunch and then we got out early. Our flight home wasn’t scheduled for takeoff until 7:30 PM. So we had about five hours to kill. Our first thought was to try to get on an earlier flight and to get home before nine. Some of the guys decided to do this and headed straight to the airport. On Thursday morning though, the news was full of an air traffic controller’s computer glitch that had affected air travel nationwide. I called the travel agent and asked about changing flights. The change fee seemed way too high, so we bagged that idea. Don and I decided to come up with something else to do. This is what we did.

Our first stop was the Fort Worth Water Garden. I first saw this gift to Fort Worth from Amon Carter in the early eighties. About that time it was also featured in a cheesy science fiction movie called Logan’s Run. The park is made of concrete mixed with pea gravel. This mixture gives all the surfaces a uniform appearance. All of the walls and surfaces have been formed into rectilinear blocks. This gives the park a sort of ziggurat appearance. There are three main fountains or pools in the park, the Active Water Pool, the Aerated Water Pool and the Quiet Water Pool.

The Active Water Pool looks like an inverted ziggurat that has been hollowed out of the ground. Waterfalls cascade down to a small pool in the center and at the bottom of this fountain. A staircase that is composed of individual free-standing steps, allows the visitor to descend to the bottom of the pool. Those with even a bit of acrophobia might better enjoy this fountain by remaining at the top.

The Aerated Water Pool is composed of some forty uniform water sprayers. The water sprayers form a near seamless sheet of spray whose height is even with the surrounding walkway. The pool was flecked with rainbows from Thursday’s setting sunlight.

You descend below ground again to view the Quiet Water Pool. This pool’s near vertical walls are uniformly coated with a thin-film of falling water. In order to view the pool though you must first descend a relatively narrow, downward sloping walkway. At the bottom of this walkway a right angle turn suddenly presents the pool. The pool is enclosed in the same near vertical walls that enclosed the walkway. It is also enclosed by a ring of cedars. In turn each individual cedar is surrounded by its own ring of cedar knees. The Quiet Water Pool and its cedars are one differences in the park that we saw and the park that I remembered. The cedar knees have spread beyond the individual rings in which each tree was once planted. Cedar knees now line many of the vertical walls of this pool.

After visiting the Fort Worth Water Gardens, Don and I visited the Amon Carter Art Museum, but I think that I’ll save that story until tomorrow …

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