Bronx park has unique, seldom-known history

A park near Yankee Stadium has a unique history that not many people know about.

The Heinrich Heine Fountain found at Joyce Kilmer Park was first commissioned in 1897.

The Heinrich Heine Fountain found at Joyce Kilmer Park was first commissioned in 1897. (4/26/16)

THE BRONX - A park near Yankee Stadium has a unique history that not many people know about.

The Heinrich Heine Fountain found at Joyce Kilmer Park was first commissioned in 1897. After traveling for two years from Germany to Manhattan, it ended up in the Bronx in 1899.

Also known as the Lorelei Fountain, it honors German writer Heinrich Heine.

Urban planner Sam Goodman describes that fountain to Germany as what William Shakespeare is to England. He also says the fountain fell into decay in the 1970s and 80s.

"The fountain was horrifically vandalized," Goodman says. "All the heads of the mermaids were decapitated, lots of the arms were torn off, a lot of the statuary at the base of the monument was destroyed."

With the threat of having the monument moved to Riverdale, the Municipal Art Society took notice and quickly secured more than $300,000 from a foundation toward restoring it. The rest of the funds were eventually allocated by then Borough President Fernando Ferrer and the Parks Department.

In 1999, the monument was reintroduced to the Bronx with a new message.

"Just because a place is not wealthy, that shouldn't deny those who live in that place something of beauty," Goodman says.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

VIDEO: Scenes from fatal accident 1 VIDEO: Scenes from fatal accident
Two brothers died after their car drifted off 2 The Buzz: Brothers die in Bronx crash
At least 20 cars were damaged when the 3 2nd-floor parking garage collapses on Jerome Avenue
Fire officials say the parking garage on Jerome 4 2nd-floor garage collapses on Jerome Avenue
Wings Academy came back from a second-half double-digit 5 VIDEO: Wings Academy wins PSAL Borough Championship

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE