A Walk in the Trees

Trees at Monument in Marshall Square Park 4/26/2014

Trees at the Monument in Marshall Square Park 4/26/2014 • Click to enlarge—breathtaking!

How did it go? Might there be a sequel?

Thanks for the note. We missed you, but the walk was wonderful.

We got to see our Kentucky Coffee tree! — Number 28 on Tree Location Map PDF below.

Was reminded of the significance of different leaf formations. Finally learned what those little red booties are that appear under the magnolias this time of year. In some ways, it was like a refresher of high school and college biology classes.

Ken (LeRoy) was absolutely charming; his enthusiasm for the park made everything ALIVE …and so fortunate for we who have it.

Not sure if Ken will come back, but there are others with other points of view that we should encourage to teach us about what we have!

Marshall Square Park Tree Location Map • June 27, 2012

A Big, BIG Day for FMSP!

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Watch the remainder of the MSP fountain leaving yesterday for restoration by Heritage Metalworks of Downingtown.

Since 1889, the fountain’s lowest tier sat in this spot—the other portions lost but recovered in 2012.

In a few months—restored, joined, and re-installed after an absence of over 60 years—you can come see Marshall Square Park’s “new” working fountain!

Tomorrow • 6:30 PM • Music At Marshall • Thursday, July 16, 2015

Featuring John Grecia Band.

To participate in the potluck picnic, see our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MusicMarshall.

Music at Marshall Flashback to 7/17/14, last year’s July concert.

Save August 20; it’s our last Music At Marshall concert/picnic for the 2015 Season.

See flyer below for more info.

Music At Marshall's 2015 Season. July 16 is the second of three concert/picnics.

Music At Marshall’s 2015 Season. July 16 is the second of three concert/picnics.

Music At Marshall • 6:30 PM, Thursday, July 16, 2015

Featuring John Grecia Band.

To participate in the potluck picnic, see our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MusicMarshall.

Music at Marshall Flashback to 7/17/14, last year’s July concert.

Save August 20; it’s our last Music At Marshall concert/picnic for the 2015 Season.

See flyer below for more info.

Music At Marshall's 2015 Season. July 16 is the second of three concert/picnics.

Music At Marshall’s 2015 Season. July 16 is the second of three concert/picnics.

126-year-old fountain being restored in West Chester

Friends of Marshall Square Park is in the process of restoring the original five-tier fountain which once was there. They hope it will be finished by late September or early October 2015. Courtesy photo

Friends of Marshall Square Park is in the process of restoring the original five-tier fountain which once was there. They hope it will be finished by late September or early October 2015. Courtesy photo

logoWCPatchBy Candice Monhollan
cmonhollan@ 21st-centurymedia.com

@CMonhollanDLN on Twitter

Posted: 07/03/15, 4:49 PM EDT

WEST CHESTER >> It has been over 60 years since the five-tiered Victorian fountain stood in Marshall Square Park in West Chester.
But Friends of Marshall Square Park (FMSP), a West Chester community group, is changing that as they move forward in restoring the once big community magnet.
“A lot of people always thought it would be cool to get the fountain back,” said Jeff Beitel, president of FMSP. “It has been missing and not in the park longer than it was installed and running in the park.”
Originally installed in 1889 in the northeast corner of the park, it was once described by the Daily Local News in 1932 as producing “a genuine thrill, a gorgeous effect to be remembered.”
But some time in the 1950s, the fountain was disassembled and the top four tiers were removed, leaving behind just the bottom tier and the basin in the park.
“We have not been able to find any documentation of exactly when the fountain was taken down and we don’t know exactly for what cause,” said Jim Salvas of FMSP.
For some years, no one knew what happened to the tiers until Gene and Joan Gagliardi found them and installed three of the four tiers on their farm.
The top tier, however, was never found.
“(Gene and Joan Gagliardi) brought it back to their farm and restored it there as a working fountain,” Salvas said. “They kept it out there and maintained it for years.”
FMSP recovered the three tiers after the Gagliardis moved and have had them stored away since 2012.
That didn’t mean FMSP forgot about them.
In fact, as of that time, they began to draw up plans to fix up the tiers and remnants of the fountain in the park and restore it to its original beauty and back in its rightful place.
“Some of (the tiers) are a little rough and there is going to be some repairing on it,” Beitel said. “I think when we get it done and all painted up, nobody is going to know the difference.”
FMSP has been raising money, all through fundraisers and donations, without the borough paying a dine, to pay for the restoration.
On June 18, FMSP announced a donation of $45,000 from Pat Loew, widow of the developer and philanthropist Jack Loew, making her the park’s new benefactor.
“One of our members approached (Loew) at a function and told her all about what we were doing and that we were looking for donations,” Beitel said. “She is very honored to be able to help us out with this. It enabled us to get the project really rolling. Before her generous donation, we really didn’t have the money to pull the trigger. That has now allowed us to build on the momentum.”
Being the park’s benefactor will give Loew a plaque to name the fountain in honor of someone; she chose her late husband.
FMSP now has enough to pay for the entire restoration of the fountain and already has all the contracts in place to build a new basin and restore the iron tiers — and create a new top tier designed to look as close to the original as possible.
But they aren’t done fundraising yet.
“We’re trying to create it as a new gateway to West Chester,” Salvas said. “We’re putting in new park benches around there. The whole path down there will be reset.”
When all is said and done and residents drive down East Marshall Street toward the park, they will undoubtedly see the fountain not only during the day, but also at night as FMSP plans to install lights on it.
The hope, and tentative schedule, has the fountain being finished by late September or early October, just before the winter freeze sets in.
“A lot of people don’t realize that Marshall Square Park is the first original park West Chester dedicated and is actually seven years older than New York City’s Central Park,” Beitel said. “The fountain will be an amazing public feature for the park and the town itself. We’re quite proud to do this.”
Contact Candice Monhollan at 610-235-2652.

Major Donation Will Restore Historic West Chester Fountain

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Friends of Marshall Square Park received $45,000 from a single benefactor.
By Justin Heinze (Patch Staff) June 19, 2015

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[L-R] Tony Stancato, Fountain Committee; Anne Walters, FMSP Vice President; Pat Loew, FMSP Benefactor; Jeff Beitel, FMSP President

Friends of Marshall Square Park (FMSP), a West Chester community group, announced a major donation for the restoration of the park’s historic fountain on June 18 at the Music at Marshall concert in the park.

Holly Brown, former Borough Council President and a member of FMSP’s Fountain Committee, said this gift allows the group to restore and install a working fountain before the end of this year.

The park’s new benefactor is Pat Loew, widow of well-known developer and philanthropist Jack Loew.

Her gift of $45,000 almost matches all funds raised by FMSP in the past few years.

In recognition, FMSP proposes to designate the restored fountain the “Jack Loew Memorial Fountain.”

Installed in 1889 at the northeast corner of the park, the five-tiered Victorian fountain quickly became a hub of community activity. By 1932, the Daily Local News wrote:

“When the tall central stream is turned on, tossing its waters high in the air, and filling the twenty-foot pool with spray… that produces a genuine thrill, a gorgeous effect to be remembered.”

By the 1950s, most of this great fountain was removed, leaving behind its basin and lowest tier. The upper portions were later found and saved from destruction by Gene and Joan Gagliardi, who installed them at their farm in East Bradford. With their help, Friends of Marshall Square Park recovered these sections in 2012, drew up plans for full restoration, and set about raising the needed funds.

The plans shown Thursday night include restoring the iron fountain and basin, installing a new iron fence to match the existing one, and re-laying and expanding the antique brick paving. At the end of the first phase, the fountain will be fully operational with a new pump, modern plumbing and electrical service, plus lighting and security features.

According to FMSP President Jeff Beitel, “Our goal is to create a welcoming space and gateway for our town.”

Anne Walters, FMSP Vice President and Chair of its Fountain Committee, pointed out that though current funds are enough to restore and install a working fountain, it will cost more to complete the “gateway” features. The final goal is $200,000, with almost $130,000 already raised or pledged by FMSP members and donors.

To reach the final goal, FMSP seeks donations of any amount and offers special recognition for major donors. Donor opportunity details are available at marshallsquarepark.org.