New Chalice-Shaped Planter Replaces Old Fountain in Anderson Courtyard

UUSM Courtyard 2004

When a the current William and Marjorie Anderson Courtyard was designed and built in 1992, it included an elaborate fountain donated by the Marcus family, the Professor Mitchell Marcus Memorial Fountain. Powered by a small electric motor, it was placed on a small hexagonal platform near the corner of 18th and Arizona. The fountain structure itself was indeed chalice-shaped and was ingeniously made out of large ceramic pots, the largest being about 40 inches in diameter.

Water flowed in the fountain for several years, but by the mid-90s, the fountain had begun to malfunction and needed frequent cleaning to keep it from becoming algae-ridden.

This chalice shape proved perfect as a planter, so it was filled it with wood chips and potted plants, mostly geraniums. This lasted for years, but eventually, the pots began to crack or crumble, even exposing some rebar. One day a piece came off in Karl Lisovsky’s hand as he stepped up on the platform to water the plants, and he began to worry about safety. 

On Sunday, May 14, 2017, Karl and Steve White brought a sledge hammer and hacksaw to church and removed the fountain/planter. All that was left on the platform were the utilities that powered the pump: a small bit of PVC pipe and the electrical box. Only the platform remained intact until recently.

Karl continues with the story of the new planter:

I decided that this empty stage with a 4-inch plumbing stub-out and a derelict electrical box presented an opportunity to re-animate a long-treasured UUSM monument.  A landmark. So I got us this sleek, spare, almost austere chalice-shaped planter, which arrived from Oregon in the new year. On a recent Sunday, a few willing congregants and I lifted the 300 lb. ceramic bowl onto the stage and set it on its feet. We now have a new chalice-planter in Anderson Courtyard.

Newly planted chalice planter
Newly planted chalice-shaped planter in the Anderson Courtyard.

Thank you, Karl!