James Scott Memorial Fountain on Belle Isle turned on for 1st time this year

Posted at 3:45 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 16:42:40-04

DETROIT — Ready. Set. Flow.

The iconic James Scott Memorial Fountain on Belle Isle is once again revving.

The 95-year-old historic fountain was turned on for the first time this year Friday, six weeks earlier than scheduled.

The fountain is turned on every year on Friday, before the start of Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, which was set for this weekend, but since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancelation of the race, the fountain’s triumphant return was going to be in late July or August.

The Grand Prix worked with its partners DTE Energy and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), along with longtime engineer and “Fountain Fixer” Robert Carpenter to get the fountain turned on earlier for parkgoers to enjoy earlier.

The James Scott Memorial Fountain will turn 95 this Sunday. Unveiled in 1925, the fountain, designed by Herbert Adams and built by Cass Gilbert, cost $500,000 to erect.

Over the course of the weekend, the Grand Prix is also hosting a “virtual” Detroit Grand Prix on social media for charity. The event has invited some special guests to post a video narration of their two fantasy laps at the Detroit Grand Prix and the videos will be shared on Twitter over the course of the weekend. Each time the video posts are tweeted and retweeted using the hashtags #My2Laps at #DetroitGP, the Grand Prix will donate $10 to the Belle Isle Conservancy for improvement projects on Belle Isle with a total contribution of up to $5,000. Everyone is encouraged to share their video fantasy lap narration on Twitter to maximize this donation.