One of the most memorable features of the Fair were the impressive fountains located across the site. While some of them were relatively small, others were quite large indeed. Besides being fun to watch, the fountains also provided some welcome relief from the summer heat.
The Astral Fountain features a central column of water 70 feet high, ringed with 40 jets flowing at the rate of 5,600 gallons per minute. The configuration is enhanced by a fretwork of a star-patterned design, 60 feet high and 60 feet in diameter, that rotates around the central column at a speed of two feet per second. The structure is adorned with 120 star-set nozzles ejecting lacy streams of water totaling 2,000 gallons per minute, producing an unusual and delightful display.
The metal framework of the Astral Fountain was removed at the end of the Fair, with the central jets left in place and working when the park re-opened. They didn't work for long, though, and the remains of the fountain were left to rust for several decades. The area is now occupied by a skate board park. (CD #63 Set 258 #11)
The Fountain of the Planets, impressive in size and design, uses more than 400-tons of water ejected through 2,000 nozzles. This is the scene of the popular fountain and fireworks show held nightly during the Fair season and free to Fair visitors. About 10,000 tons of water are recirculated during the show and approximately 150,000,000 candle power illuminates the waters with brilliant and changing color-lighting. Fireworks in the display are fired from 464 mortars. Over 1,000 different patterns of water and light effects are produced. (CD #11 Set 55 #25)
The Fountain of the Planets really came alive at night. A colorful fireworks show was set to music, entertaining crowds across the Fair. You can listen to some of the musical programs on this site. Feel free to set off your own fireworks as the music plays!
All of the fountain mechanism was removed at the end of the Fair. Unfortunately the area is not much more than a stagnant pool of water these days. (CD #21 Set 114 #4)
Fountain of Progress - North. A lovely fountain effect located at the north end of the Transportation Area of the Fair. This spectacular fountain effect is situated in an 80-foot diameter pool and can be found near the Ford Motor Company Pavilion. (CD #35 Set 179 #14)
Fountain of Progress - South.A lovely fountain effect located at the south end of the Transportation Area of the Fair. This spectacular fountain effect is situated in an 80-foot diameter pool and can be found near the General Motors Pavilion. (CD #1 Set 6 #1)
Lunar Fountain. This fountain located between the Industrial and International areas features water spraying from a moon like center. The fountain, situated in a 120-foot diameter pool, is a 10-foot high water bubble with a series of parabolic jet sprays rising 30 feet from the top of the bubble.(CD #21 Set 109 #72)
Solar Fountain. The central dome, 30 feet in diameter, has colored-light ports illuminated from the interior, and supports a column of water, 30 feet high, with 30 nozzles on a 4 foot diameter circle. Above the central column, a star burst 6 feet in diameter circles around the dome, wobbling jets of water simulate the sun's flaming gases. The whole composition typifies the beauty and agitation at the center of our solar system.(CD #23 Set 123 #3)
Fountains of the Fairs. The Fountain sof the Fairs encompasses both East and West ponds. It has a row of arching water jets on each side, directed inward toward the center of the pool. Except for modifications in the hydraulic system, they will remain as a permanent park feature after the Fair. There is a total of 52 jet streams, which discharge approximately 7,200 gallons of water per minute. Underwater lights in the splash shields illuminate the jets. The arrangement provides a beautiful and interesting feature of the promenade.
While the concrete pools are still in the park today, sadly the fountains have not worked for many years.(CD #50 Set 221 #9)
Fountains of the Continents. The Fountain surrounding the Unisphere features a double ring of water jets, projecting vertical streams of water from 8 to 40 feet in height, simulating an advancing wave action. The globe seemingly floats in space, on a number of water sprays. The rising and falling motion of the advancing wave pattern suggests a rotation of the Unisphere. There are 96 streams in all, propelled by motors totalling 400 horsepower, delivering over 15,000 gallons of water per minute. A modified form of this fountain will be retained for the post-fair park.
The fountain jets were recently restored and provide a wonderful memory of the World's Fair once again. Unfortunately the pool can no longer be completely filled due to liability concerns, as many park visitors used it as a swimming pool. (CD #28 Set 150 #12)
The Pool of Reflections, incorporates a series of five water ponds at stepped heights, with water flowing from higher to lower levels to form a long cascading type pool. The pool reflects the Unisphere and enhances the splendor of the main promenade. It will remain after the Fair, as an enduring feature of Flushing Meadow Park. The circulation is about 1,000 gallons of water per minute, and is illuminated by 320 underwater fixtures, equally distributed under each of four weirs.(CD #16 Set 79 #18)