Fountain location: North end of Trousdale, intersecting W 34th Street.
For this fountain, I really just have the question: “Why?”
What is the point? This is the Abe Vagoda of fountains on campus; it should really retire and call it a day. We all know that it is there, we’ll all be affected when it is gone, but we all also know that it is well past its prime. You can’t read the engraving anymore, and from the front it’s kind of hard to see the jets anyway. Instead, you see the cracked cement, the chipping tile basin and rusted 80s-era piping structure. So again: why? Why the three meager jets that function more as water-surface-breakers a la high-dive pools? Of course, this modest presentation is slightly more akin to a bird bath than the high dive. And is about just as much fun, comparatively. It obscures the view of Trousdale, and if you’re approaching it from the front (which really only Greeks, Troy Hall kids and the regulars at Sandwich Island in the UV do), you’ve just passed the finger fountain anyway. Look a bit to your left and there you are, Gold Mom, still bright and new. The two newer, modern-architecture-based fountains really drive the point home that this crumbling, understated water installment is well past its prime.
Aesthetics and Presentation – 5.5.
Functionality – 6.
Fountain run potential – 4
Purpose – 3
Final verdict – 4.5/10. The jets were working fine, but the meager stream pressure and completely rusted drains betray a weakness and vulnerability about the piece. Coupled with cracked cement and faded engraving, the overall feel is aged.
Check back next wednesday for another edition of The Drink, USC’s premier fountain review.