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James Scott Fountain to get $400K in updates

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Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

One of the most beautiful spots in Detroit will see some much-needed repairs in the near future. The Belle Isle Conservancy announced today that the James Scott Fountain will receive $400,000 worth of upgrades, some starting this fall.

The money was raised at a fundraising event through the Detroit Grand Prix, which takes place on the island park during the first weekend of June. The Grand Prix recently struck a deal with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, who runs Belle Isle, to keep the race on the island for the next three years.

Updates will include repairing marble on the stairs, replacing damaged lighting, fixing leaky pipes, and resealing some marble joints.

Crain’s reports that this is one of many updates to come on the island. The Aquarium and Conservatory would be next for updating, including assessing the heating and cooling system, signage, and bathroom fixes in the aquarium. Additional funding could lead to “new restrooms for the conservatory, a gift shop and a catering kitchen,” which would help out the conservatory as an event space.

Designed in 1925 by Cass Gilbert, the fountain was funded by the not-well-liked James Scott, whose statue sits to the the east of the fountain. The fountain wasn’t running for years, and some copper piping was stolen. It started running again in 2014, with a lovely light show in the evenings.