Monday, July 2, 2012

James Scott Memorial Fountain - Belle Isle Detroit

Built as a memorial to one of Detroit's most notable millionaires, the James Scott Memorial Fountain is not only the jewel of Belle Isle it's one of the most iconic structures in the city. It was built in 1925 at a cost of $500K (approx. $6.2 million of today's dollars) and was disputed by many "upstanding" members of the community. As it turns out, Mr. Scott had a less than reputable reputation among his fellow socialites and members of the community. Described as a lazy, eccentric, prankster who spent his days gambling  and entertaining women of lesser moral fiber. Sounds like my kind of guy! He was able to invest his inherited fortune shrewdly in real estate thus freeing his time from any sort of actual work. Scott also delighted in poking fun, feuding and pranking his many "enemies"...also filing lawsuits.

In 2005, scrappers stole the plumbing from the fountain and rendered it a dry statue until it's recent comeback. As you can see in the photos below, it's been restored to all of it's former glory and even has a guard on duty to watch over it daily.

All photos by Matt Strickland copyright 2012

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