Just in time
City will repair landmark before July 4
for fireworks on the Fourth of July — a brighter Lake Eola fountain.
The iconic Lake Eola fountain has had a dimmer glow lately, but that won’t last for long.
While park regulars may not have noticed, 32 percent of the fountain’s underwater LED lights have failed with the potential for more to go out soon, city officials said.
So the City Council gave the green light last month for $343,849 in repairs for the fountain — perhaps Orlando’s most photographed landmark, which is lit up to honor dozens of organizations and causes throughout the year.
Crews will install 220 colored lights and a dozen white lights to have the fountain shining brighter than ever before, said David Dunn, city fleet and facilities manager.
“They’re underwater constantly,” he said of the lights. “The lights we installed in 2011 were cutting-edge technology, [but] over time it’s inevitable that with the sun beating down on them, you’re going to get some water intrusion in them.”
Orlando doesn’t plan to have the 60-foot-tall fountain powered down at night, with crews due to replace the lights periodically as part of monthly maintenance. The city’s goal is to have the fountain completely re-lit for the annual Fourth of July celebration.
Dunn said colleagues in Las Vegas told him that replacing fountain lights typically is needed every five years. However, the German-manufactured fixtures are considered the best on the market so they may have a longer shelf life.
The job will be done by Sanford-based Freeport Fountains, which works on local fountains at the University of Central Florida’s Reflecting Pond and 10 on Disney properties — including resorts and even a laundry facility — as well as internationally at places such as Bacardi International’s headquarters in Bermuda.
The company also overhauled the Lake Eola centerpiece in 2011, when it had a $1.5 million renovation.
That project included a new frame, as well as lighting, pumps, piping and electrical controls.
In 2009, lightning struck the fountain, zapping a system that was already experiencing problems.
Installed in 1957, the city showpiece was dubbed the Centennial Fountain to celebrate Orlando’s 100th birthday.
But in 1965, then-Mayor Bob Carr changed its name to
the Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain in honor of its founder.
The upcoming work on the 61-year-old fountain also will add new color options, so the controlling mechanism is also being upgraded, Dunn said.
“People get acclimated to what they see, so that’s why people haven’t noticed,” he said of the weaker glow. But he added, “if they notice anything [during the work], they may perceive it’s a little brighter.”
Crews will install 220 colored lights and a dozen white lights to have the Lake Eola fountain shining brighter than ever, said David Dunn, city fleet and facilities manager.