A modern take on historic drinking holes. A symbol of something from nothingness. A natural drive toward water. A place to make a wish (even if you really aren’t supposed to). A place for a first kiss or wedding photo. A fountain.
Whatever the drive may be, the Scott Fountain is a Belle Isle landmark that brought people together throughout time. As my grandmother puts it, “There’s nothing else like it in Detroit.”
As I work with my team to help out the Belle Isle Conservancy, we were assigned to collect stories about the Scott Memorial Fountain. Quick to learn about the sketchy past of the project’s benefactor in the 1920s, I was amazed at how the fountain truly brought people together. Used as a center point of, mainly, photography in the lower tip of Belle Isle, the fountain has housed numerous wedding photos throughout the years. This area played host to light shows throughout the year and holds significance for persons who had visited past or present.
In a way, the playboy socialite hooligan that set this area to motion in hopes of celebrating his own memory- has done a truly good deed for the citizens of Detroit. While some say this is an area of hope, I like to think that this is a landmark that draws people together, standing in a spot where their ancestors had before them. While the fountain had a less than glorious creator, it has done more good as Detroit continued on after him.
I think that the fountain signifies the natural need for people to come together in a place that is truly gorgeous and find community.