Friends of the Electric Fountain

The entirely NEW Prismatic Electric Fountain
Denver, Colorado ~ City Park ~ Ferril Lake ~ Dedicated August 19, 2008

The 2008 Electric Fountain was dedicated on August 19, 2008 and it delighted visitors attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver with exciting displays of water in motion and colored light, just as the 1908 fountain did 100 years ago.

The name "Electric Fountain" was given to a number of fountains built when the age of electricity was young and arc lights were first used to illuminate them. Some of these Electric Fountains were designed by a brilliant electrical engineer and inventor by the name of F.W. Darlington. Research has uncovered fountains designed by Darlington as early as 1896. Newspaper accounts refer to "polychrome lighting" in the glowing descriptions of the dramatic new lighting effects.

However, the Electric Fountain in Ferril Lake at Denver City Park seems to be the only one to have the word "Prismatic" added to the name. The first place this terminology showed up is in the Denver Municipal Facts issue of May 22, 1909, a publication of the City of Denver. Early post cards like the one above, illustrated (with some careful air-brushing and coloring) the rainbow of colored lighting effects on the water, as if generated by sunlight shining through a prism.

A sad note and thank you to the friends of the Prismatic Electric Fountain:

Bruce Quackenbush was the owner of and he donated his professional skills to create this comprehensive web site in 2010. Sadly, Bruce passed away in early 2023. Subsequent updates to the php web language version and servers have broken parts of this site to create the error messages and missing content you currently see.

I will try to find a way to bring it back to better functionality during 2024.

I also want to thank all of the friends and supporters of Frederic W. Darlington's Prismatic Electric Fountain in Denver City Park. It was a signal accomplishment to create an authentic replica of the original 1908 fountain and I invite you to review the list of people who made this possible.

Without their persistence and dedication, our groundbreaking work and the spectacular results would not have been possible. I want to single out Dick Gannon, a Denver Parks and Recreation planner at the time, for being the champion of this project in the face of skepticism and his unwavering support of my engineering and design work.

I retired from my consulting role with Denver Parks and Recreation in the spring of 2016. The operation and maintenance of the fountain is totally in the hands of their facilities maintenance department. I wish them well in their work to keep the fountain fully operational so it will remain the attractive centerpiece of Ferril Lake and City Park for many years to come.

It is up to the public to keep pressure on the Denver Parks and Recreation to keep the fountain running properly since the facilities people have their priorities and budget set by the management of DPR. Please let them know if you see something that is not working and how much you enjoy the fountain.

By the time you read this message a transformation of this site from an interactive site to a static one will have taken place. I have personally paid the cost of having this domain over the years but since I am no longer involved with the operation and maintenance of the fountain it seemed like the right time to eliminate certain elements of the site that were oriented to my former active role with the fountain.

I will continue to pay for this domain for the next few years to maintain it as a tribute to Frederic W. Darlington and document the work that went into creating the 2008 replica of his work.

Larry Kerecman

Notice: This web site and its contents are produced by Larry Kerecman, founder of the Friends of the Electric Fountain, to disseminate information about the Electric Fountain in Ferril Lake at City Park in Denver, Colorado. This is not an official web site of the City and County of Denver Department of Parks and Recreation, which owns and operates the Electric Fountain.

Today at the Fountain
Today is: 5/30/2024
Sunset today: 8:22 pm
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