Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Peace Fountain of the Cathedral Church of St, John the Divine

As a continuation of my prior blog post  (click here) about the magnificent Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, I'd like to show you the very unusual "Peace Fountain" which is located in the side yard of the cathedral. (The photo collage above---as well as all photos in this post--will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on once)  The Peace Fountain was sculpted by Cathedral Artist-in-Residence Greg Wyatt to mark the 200th anniversary of the Anglican Diocese of New York in 1985. Information from the cathedral's web site: The 40 foot high bronze sculpture weaves together several representations of the conflict between good and evil. Above, the Archangel Michael embraces one of the nine giraffes (said to be the most peaceful of creatures) after his defeat of Satan. Below, the lion lies down with the lamb. The fountain's spiraling base takes inspiration from the double-helix of DNA  On either side of the fountain, moon and sun-like faces direct their gazes toward and away from Amsterdam Avenue."

I lightened this photo so that you could see more of the detail in the sculpture

Another view of the Peace Fountain.

There is much symbolism in the fountain, and if you click on and enlarge this descriptive plaque that is at its base, you can read more about the fountain.

Around the fountain's basin are a series of small bronze animal sculptures created by K-12 students from New York City and tri-state area public, private and parochial school. Collectively known as the Children's Sculpture Garden, it represents the diverse community the Cathedral strives to serve and represent.

Close ups of some of the animals sculpted by the children.

There were also book-like sculptured plaques located in the sunken plaza in which the fountain sits,  that contained quotations of various philosophers, authors, artists and contemporary icons 

The Cathedral and its surrounding gardens and buildings form an 11.3 acre complex collectively referred to as The Close.  The Close is open to the public year round during daylight hours, with two entrances located along Amsterdam Avenue at 110th and 111th Streets.  On the grounds are the Cathedral House, the Ogilvie House, the Diocesan House, the Synod House, and the Ithiel Town Building.

The grounds also contain a Pulpit Lawn, a Biblical Garden containing all the species mentioned in the bible, and roaming peacocks and bee hives, Unfortunately, I visited the Cathedral in early March before the spring flowering, and the light was fading so I was unable to get good photos of these features.  Whenever I make a return visit to NYC I will try to re-visit to see them.

Across from the back of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine lies Morningside Park. It is a narrow strip that stretches 13 blocks through the neighborhoods of Harlem and Morningside Heights. Built on a steep incline, it contains winding paths bordered with trees and flowers that lead to a cascading waterfall. Ball fields and playgrounds make it a pleasant community park.

Driving away from the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine is a view of Broadway in the Upper West Side, which is full of residential buildings.

It has been a busy time for me the past few months, as not only did I visit NYC twice, but I also visited Chicago, and the Sonoma and Napa Valleys of California, and San Francisco! My husband had quite a few business trips to those areas that we extended by a few days into mini vacations.  So I have much ahead to show on future posts from those cities as well as from my beautiful area in Colorado. Hope you will visit again soon!

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eileeninmd said...

Pat, what an awesome fountain.. I love the photos showing all the details and the words. Your have really been traveling, it is fun! Great post and photos! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

podso said...

I'm wondering if this is something I walked past as a student and never took note of (you know how when you are young and focused.) This is so interesting and fun to see pictures of Morningside Heights!

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

What a neat fountain:@)

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a gorgeous fountain. I can only imagine how wonderful it must be to live in the neighborhood and have a chance to see it on a daily basis.

Vee said...

You really have been "on the go" and, as always, you have shared so nicely. I thought of some of the scriptures that this fountain has been based upon and then I wondered if it is safe to walk in the park there, which took me right back to me former thoughts about future events. One day, all will be returned to Eden.

Betsy Adams said...

Wow---what an incredible fountain... IF I ever get to NYC, that cathedral and grounds will definitely be on my SEE list!!!!! Fantastic photos.. Thanks.

Lina Gustina said...

An artistic fountain with lots of meanings. Awesome details!

SmilingSally said...

Morning Pat,

Lucky you; you live close to your family AND get to travel to interesting places! Thanks for sharing your blue today.

Happy Blue Monday!

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

What a fantastic fountain! I'm glad you showed the plaque because I was wondering about the symbolism of the crab. The Noah's Ark sculpture is a beauty also.

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful series of gorgeous photos for OWT ~ each city is beautiful ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Sonya Badgley said...

Gorgeous fountain! And I love the sculpture of Noah's Ark as well. Great post! Thank you for sharing!
Happy Blue Monday!

Rajesh said...

Truly magnificent place.

Anonymous said...

Magnificent shots of the fountain!

Gary Phillips said...

Wonderful post!! Boom, Bobbi and Gary.

Daniela said...

This fountain is really stunning my dear Pat, thank you for sharing these so beautiful things, I'm looking forward to your next post !
Hope you're having a lovely week, my friend !
Sending hugs <3

Ciao Chow Linda said...

That fountain is one of yhe most intricate sculptures in the city, Pat. Glad you are enjoying the "mini" vacations with Vinny.

Annesphamily said...

A very interesting share. I always enjoy your photos Pat. Good to see you here. A terrific blue share. Enjoy the weekend. It is coming up quickly! Hugs, Anne

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

An interesting post, as always! My, you have been busy. Looking forward to all those future blog posts!

toby said...

Wow, that really is a unique fountain! Hard to believe it's from 1985, and not from 1785 :)
Thanks for sharing all of these with us at WWDD!

Anonymous said...

Love this post! Thank you so much for it

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you got to go with your husband on his business trip because your posts on NYC have always been so interesting. I'm looking forward to your other travels.

Wandering Wren said...

You have been a busy traveller but all the more fun for us, can't wait to see your future posts. Today it was great to be back with you in New York, that is one incredible fountain. I miss the place already and your photos make me want to book my next visit to NYC
Wren x

La Petite Gallery said...

Thanks for sharing. There is so much to see and do in NYC, when I was there it was the fast pace. Now back in Maine, everything seems so slow.
Great photo's.