Elaborate doorways may be found throughout Madison.
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Madison, Indiana

Broadway Fountain

The Broadway Fountain in 1886, shortly after it was installed.

The Broadway Fountain in 1886, shortly after it was installed.
Courtesy of the Jefferson County Historical Society Research Library

One of Madison’s landmarks, the original Broadway Fountain stood in the middle of Broadway for almost 100 years before it was dismantled and replaced with the 1981 bronze copy or reproduction. The original Janes, Kirtland, and Company cast iron fountain was displayed at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. After the Exposition closed, the Madison Lodge of Independent Order of Odd Fellows purchased the fountain and presented it to the city in 1884.

French sculptor J.P.Victor Andre modeled the fountain’s design (Model #5 in the Janes, Kirtland catalog) after either one of the Place-de-la-Concord fountains in Paris or one at London’s Crystal Palace. It consists of three decorated tiered basins approximately 26 feet high and 35 feet across. Cartouches featuring the Odd Fellows symbol of three interconnected links adorn each side of the fountain’s octagonal base. Four tritons surround the base, with each creature holding a shell horn that spouts water. A classically robed female figure holding a rod sits atop the highest basin.

As part of the 1976 American bicentennial celebrations held across the country, the City of Madison spearheaded a major restoration effort, hiring Cincinnati sculpture Eleftherios Karkadoulias to reconstruct the entire fountain in bronze. The process took nearly three years as Karkadoulias disassembled the fountain and shipped each piece to his Cincinnati studio. There he created wax molds and reconstructed the fountain in bronze, a longer-lasting and sturdier metal. The reproduction fountain was dedicated in 1981. The only part of the original fountain that is still present in Fountain Park is a stone plinth that supported one of the original triton figures; it is set into the concrete at the south end of the central path as a base for a tablet that commemorates the replacement fountain.

The Broadway Fountain is one of four similarly designed fountains that Janes, Kirtland, and Company created. The others can be found in Savannah, Georgia (seen in the movies Forrest Gump and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil); Poughkeepsie, New York; and Cusco, Peru.

The Broadway Fountain Park contributes to the historic significance of the Madison Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark.

Plan your visit
The Broadway Fountain Park, a one-half acre green space in Madison’s downtown, occupies the center of Broadway Street between West Main St. and West Third St. Click here for the Madison Historic District National Historic Landmark file: text. The Broadway Fountain Park is lighted during the evenings and offers ample sitting areas. On Saturdays throughout the summer, Broadway Fountain Park hosts the Madison Farmer’s Market. For more information, please visit the Madison Parks & Recreations website.
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