The Pulitzer Fountain

The Pulitzer Fountain is a noteworthy landmark located at the southern tip of Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan, New York City. This popular tourist destination, bequeathed by Joseph Pulitzer, a renowned newspaper publisher, was part of his lasting legacy after his demise in 1911. The fountain's official inauguration took place in 1916, marking the successful completion of a beautification project aimed to mimic the grand public squares of Paris.

The Pulitzer Fountain showcases the grandeur of Beaux-Arts architecture, a style that was widely popular in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The fountain features five basins, surrounded by small water jets, which together create a spectacular water show. These elements combined construct a relaxing and visually appealing environment right in the heart of New York City.

Crowning the Pulitzer Fountain is a remarkable bronze sculpture skillfully created by Karl Bitter, an accomplished Austrian-born American sculptor. The statue represents Pomona, the Roman goddess of abundance, orchards, and gardens, who is depicted holding a basket filled with fruits, embodying prosperity and richness.

Surrounding the fountain is Grand Army Plaza, a spacious public area with ample seating arrangements for locals and tourists to enjoy the scenic beauty of the fountain and the hustle and bustle of the city. It serves as a hub for several outdoor activities and social gatherings, making it a vibrant and lively space in the city.

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Why visit the Pulitzer Fountain?

  1. Architectural masterpiece. The Pulitzer Fountain is an exceptional representation of Beaux-Arts architecture, a style known for its elaborate detailing and grand structures. Visiting the fountain offers a unique opportunity to admire this historical style firsthand.
  2. Historical value. The fountain carries immense historical significance, as it was bequeathed by Joseph Pulitzer, a crucial figure in the establishment of modern journalism. A visit to the Pulitzer Fountain allows you to connect with a piece of New York City's history, adding depth to your overall experience.
  3. Artistic excellence. The fountain, with its centerpiece Pomona, is an incredible demonstration of public art. The sculptural work by Karl Bitter is a testament to the detailed craftsmanship of the era. Art enthusiasts, as well as those with a casual interest, will find the artistic quality of the fountain fascinating.
  4. Urban oasis. In the midst of one of the busiest cities in the world, the Pulitzer Fountain provides a peaceful respite. Its tranquil atmosphere, paired with the soothing sounds of cascading water, offers a calming space to relax and rejuvenate away from the urban rush.
  5. Photographic potential. The Pulitzer Fountain's grand architecture, combined with the continuous play of water, offers endless photographic opportunities. Its timeless elegance makes it a sought-after backdrop for many professional photographers and casual Instagrammers alike.
  6. Cultural experiences. Grand Army Plaza hosts a range of cultural events throughout the year, from art exhibitions to music performances. A visit to the Pulitzer Fountain can coincide with such events, adding another layer of enjoyment to your trip.
  7. People-watching. Grand Army Plaza and the surrounding areas serve as a crossroads for a diverse array of New Yorkers, from business professionals to artists, tourists to locals. It's an excellent place for people-watching and soaking in the vibrant New York City atmosphere.
  8. Gateway to other attractions. Given its location in Grand Army Plaza, the fountain serves as a starting point for many other iconic attractions in New York City, including Central Park and the high-end shopping outlets of Fifth Avenue. Visiting the Pulitzer Fountain can kickstart your day of exploration in the city.

Best places to visit near the Pulitzer Fountain

  • Central Park. Located just steps from Pulitzer Fountain, Central Park is a sprawling green oasis in the heart of Manhattan. You can enjoy leisurely strolls, visit iconic landmarks like Strawberry Fields, Bethesda Terrace, and the Central Park Zoo, or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art. Situated on the eastern edge of Central Park, The Met is one of the world's largest and most renowned art museums. It houses an extensive collection spanning thousands of years and various cultures, including ancient Egyptian artifacts, European paintings, and contemporary art.

  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Located just a few blocks from the Pulitzer Fountain, this museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. It showcases an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, featuring works by renowned artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol, and Pollock.

  • Radio City Music Hall. Situated in Rockefeller Center, a short distance from Pulitzer Fountain, this iconic venue is famous for its stunning Art Deco architecture and world-class performances. Catch a show featuring the famous dance company Rockettes or enjoy a guided tour of the venue to learn about its rich history.

  • Times Square. Known as "The Crossroads of the World," Times Square is a vibrant and energetic neighborhood that's just a short distance from the Pulitzer Fountain. Marvel at the dazzling billboards and neon lights, catch a Broadway show, shop at flagship stores, or indulge in the diverse culinary offerings.

  • Fifth Avenue. Adjacent to the Pulitzer Fountain, Fifth Avenue is renowned for its luxury shopping and iconic landmarks. Take a leisurely stroll along this famous avenue, visit high-end stores like Tiffany & Co., and explore cultural institutions like St. Patrick's Cathedral and the New York Public Library.

  • Plaza Hotel. A historic landmark located near the Pulitzer Fountain, The Plaza is a luxurious destination that offers elegance and old-world charm. Admire the grand architecture, enjoy afternoon tea at the Palm Court, or dine at one of the renowned restaurants within the hotel.

  • Broadway. Just a short distance from the Pulitzer Fountain, Broadway is synonymous with world-class theater and entertainment. Catch a dazzling musical or a thought-provoking play at one of the numerous theaters along Broadway and experience the magic of live performances.

  • Bryant Park. About a mile from the fountain, Bryant Park is a serene urban oasis where you can relax and enjoy nature in the midst of the bustling city. Take a leisurely stroll, have a picnic, or visit during the winter months to enjoy the park's ice-skating rink and holiday market.

What are the most interesting and unique facts about the Pulitzer Fountain?

  • The design of the Pulitzer Fountain was inspired by the fountain in Place de la Concorde in Paris, France, showcasing the influence of classical European aesthetics on American public art.

  • The fountain underwent several significant restorations, preserving its structure and beauty for future generations.

  • The fountain stands approximately 22 feet tall. Its base is adorned with reliefs featuring crabs and seashells, reflecting its design's marine theme.