About CharlotteFountains.com

The Story Behind the Site

Update: I am coming back to this site after letting it lie for several years, while my career moved one. I’ve been doing web development full-time for several years now, and I thought I should update this site to give whoever comes here a better experience. As the saying goes, “You’ve got to dance with what brung you... .”

Below is the original description of the site, just for historical interest.

The seed for this website was planted a few years ago, when my wife was looking for something to do with our son one Saturday afternoon. He was about three years old, and the siren call of TV had already started to pull him. She wanted to get him outside in the open air, when she hit upon a clever idea: the two of them would go on a fountain-hunt in downtown Charlotte. They enjoyed it so much that they took me along the next weekend to show me all the fountains they had discovered.

Fast forward a couple of summers...

Our son now has a baby sister nearly one year old, and dad is looking for something to do with the kids on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Off we go in search of fountains. We started at the Green, where the Fish Fountain makes a natural landmark for such an adventure, and went East along Tryon Street.

I was really hoping to show my young daughter this secret gem of a fountain: a little wall spout and pool in a pedestrian alley off the north side of the street. However, after much fruitless searching, I decided that the place where it should have been was now the private courtyard of some new condominiums. And so, the idea for this website was born.

I wanted to catalog as many of the fountains of Charlotte as I could, and it seemed to me that the best way to do this is to make it a public project. Of course, I didn't count on two obstacles: first, I didn't realize how little I knew about making websites, and second, the great drought of 2007 was about to begin. After a few pictures of dry fountains, I got discouraged.

Now, I'm back at it, with some new web knowledge gleaned from a project at work, and after the easing of water restrictions in the Spring of 2008. (A part of me wishes I had taken more pictures of dry fountains, because that would have been an interesting historical record in itself, but it's hard to persevere in the face of two kids' "So What?" looks.)

So, here they are: the fountains of Charlotte, NC. I hope that I, and others, will add to this reference over time. Enjoy.

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