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A Water Experience—Gillham Pool by Kate Oglebay White PDF  | Print |

Beneath the massive cottonwood tree, four Philharmonic musicians played German baroque brass music. That afternoon they were in Gillham Road; that night they would play in the ballet "Giselle."

And so it was that Water Experience was dedicated in Gillham Road. This old World War I parade ground has come a long way. Water Experience is a new idea combining a fountain and a pool where people are an integral part of the design. At the top of the steps, five fountains spill water down the steps and fill several shallow foot baths and one large pool. Concrete steps look like a cross between an angular Greek Amphiteatre and a set for Gene Kelly.

Mary Edith Lillis, Director of Recreation for the City, said, "If this were only a pool, it could be used only two months out of the year. This way it can be useful nine months." And she is reight. This $130,000 Federally Funded project provides a place for children to run and sprawl and splash and play almost all year.

Moments before the dedication ceremonies were to begin, Designer Claude Percy (Larking and Associates) was spotted down in a pit trying to turn the fountain on with a small pair of pliers. "The darn thing won't turn on," he muttered in a stage whisper. A helpful child tried to enlist the aid of Father Rodney Creuse for Divine aid. The priest obliged only to be innundated with water as the fountain spurted, gurgled and gushed it's maiden gush. Thus the dedication got underway.

Note: Gillham Road wadeing pool/fountain was built in 1976.