Water in city centre fountain turns green after just two years
Water in a pool at Birmingham’s Grade II listed Chamberlain Memorial Fountain has turned green two years after it was restored. The 1880 fountain is a tribute to the city visionary Joseph Chamberlain who stimulated the then-town of Birmingham to grow.
Water in the historic fountain has also risen to the top with one Twitter user warning it might overflow.
@ReissOmari tweeted: “Hi @ParadiseBham, are we looking at getting the Chamberlain Square fountain drained and cleaned anytime soon, looks like it’s all out to overfill and spill out on to the square!”
Fellow Twitter user @x_brum added: “Even the monument is turning green, loooooooooooooooool.
“Sorry Paradise, but this is poor, like really poor.”
They added: “Meanwhile over at Brindleyplace, the fountains that have been working for over 10 years, guess what are still working. You really need to do better, this isn’t good.”
Twitter account @ParadiseBham replied: “Unfortunately, there are ongoing issues with the fountain pumps and drainage which in turn has caused the water decolourisation issue.
“The Paradise team is working with Birmingham City Council to get this resolved asap and hope the fountains will be up and running soon.
“In the meantime, we can only apologise and totally understand any frustrations for the Fountain not looking its best.”
The square had looked “magnificent” after being spruced up for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which took place in the city.
Now Birmingham Live reports that as well as the fountain’s waters turning green, the main entrance to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is currently fenced off.
Victoria Square is also behind fencing for a major rebuild of city centre.
The fountain was designed by architect John Henry Chamberlain, who was no relation to Joseph Chamberlain.
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S. Barfield of Leicester sculpted the memorial’s sculptor with its mosaics coming from Salviati Burke & Co of Venice.
A plaque on the fountain reads: “This memorial is erected in gratitude for the public service given to this town by Joseph Chamberlain who was elected Town Councillor in November 1869, Mayor in November 1873 and resigned that office in June 1876 on being returned as one of the representatives of the borough of Birmingham in Parliament and during whose mayoralty many great public works were notably advanced and mainly by whose ability and devotion the gas and water undertakings were acquired for the town to the great and lasting benefit of the inhabitants”.
Historic England’s citation states: “1880, by J H Chamberlain. In a Gothic style.
“Four gabled faces with arches filled with diaper and mosaic work and a portrait medallion of Chamberlain by Thomas Woolner.
“Corner pinnacles and a crocketed spire with lucarnes and an iron finial. The basin at the foot is a modern replacement”.
Work in Chamberlain Square forms part of a major revamp of Birmingham’s city centre.
The multi-million pound project is set to improve areas around New Street and Victoria Square.
Work began before the Commonwealth Games and will include retail and business districts.
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