North Miami Beach Hopes To Restore 1925 Fountain
By Tricia McCarter-Joseph | Online Only | Dec. 18, 2009
The city of North Miami Beach, Fla., wants to restore a fountain designed in 1925 to welcome residents to a subdivision. The Fulford-By-The-Sea Monument was constructed by Florida developers Merle C. Tebbetts and Edgar C. Linn during the state's 1920s land boom. Today it needs about $40,000 in repairs.
"It's the emblem of our city," says Craig Southern, assistant city planner for the City of North Miami Beach, who helped prepare a state grant application for the fountain. "Knowing that we will restore it gives citizens more pride in our city. We have a rich history, and the fountain reflects that."
Last week city planning officials submitted the grant application to the state's Division of Historical Resources; now they are anxiously awaiting a response in the face of recent budget cuts. In May the city asked the Florida National Register Review Board to consider nominating the fountain for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
"Having this beautiful fountain on the National Register of Historic Places will help us ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy this architectural treasure," City Manager Kelvin L. Baker said in a May 29 statement.
The fountain, adorned with four carved unicorn busts atop a colorful mosaic dome, is in working condition but shows signs of age. Rust stains have developed along the arch of the main structure, and rebar (a common steel reinforcement), is exposed in two of the unicorn busts. The steps leading to the pool basin are cracked, and some decorative tiles in the dome are either missing or discolored.
Nevertheless, Southern says, "It's still in pretty good shape."
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