Historic water fountain in Irvington damaged by vandals

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A piece of a neighborhood is damaged after someone targeted a historic water fountain on the east side of Indianapolis.

It happened at Irving Circle Park in the Irvington neighborhood on Thursday.

Neighbors told 24-Hour News 8 the damage is heartbreaking and disappointing. They had just restored the fountain about two months ago and now they’re stuck with another repair just weeks before a big event.

“This is a very integral part of Irvington and this little bit of vandalism isn’t going to stop that,” said Thomas Mann. “We’ll get it back running again.”

On a normal day, water would be flowing from this fountain at Irving Circle Park but not today.

“It could have been kids. It could have been someone just playing a prank, I don’t know,” said Mann.

Mann lives in the neighborhood. He’s also part of Friends of Irving Circle. It’s a non-profit organization made up of neighbors who volunteer their time to look after the park.

“I received a message from another member of the group that the fountain had stopped flowing and I just thought maybe the filter was clogged in the pump,” he said.

Mann said he went over to check and found something else.

“Someone had managed to get into the fountain and grabbed a hold of the hosing and tried to rip it out of the fountain and in the process broke the housing on the pump,” he explained.

He believes someone caused the damage Thursday afternoon between 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mann said the decades old fountain has been a popular spot for many people.

“This may have seemed like a prank but what you did is you damaged a piece of a neighborhood,” he said. “This is an area where people have gotten engaged here, people have been married here, people have gone on their first date here.”

Other neighbors like Sue Beecher have seen her fair share of damage to the fountain but nothing like this. She’s also the president of Friends of Irving Circle.

“I would hope it’s not kids but you know whoever did it it’s just very unfortunate,” she said. “Because I can’t understand what they can benefit from that.”

Beecher said whoever is responsible for the damage should find something better to do.

“I would just hope that they could do some soul searching and find something active,” she said. “I could really use folks down here pulling weeds. I think if you’re angry don’t pull on the fountain come down and pull some weeds with me.”

As for the repair, Mann said it could cost them hundreds or thousands of dollars to replace the whole fountain.

He said people have been reaching out looking for ways to help with the cost and even adding security cameras.

Friends of Irving Circle hope to have the fountain back up and running by August 27 for its Summer Concert Series event.

If you know anything about the vandalism, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477).

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