Denver, Colorado ~ City Park ~ Ferril Lake ~
Dedicated August 19, 2008
The 2008 Electric Fountain was dedicated on August 19, 2008 and it delighted visitors attending
the Democratic National Convention in Denver with exciting displays of water in motion and
colored light, just as the 1908 fountain did 100 years ago.
The name "Electric Fountain" was given to a number of fountains built when the
age of electricity was young and arc lights were first used to illuminate them. Some of
these Electric Fountains were designed by a brilliant electrical engineer and inventor
by the name of F.W. Darlington. Research has uncovered fountains designed by Darlington
as early as 1896. Newspaper accounts refer to "polychrome lighting" in the glowing
descriptions of the dramatic new lighting effects.
However, the Electric Fountain in Ferril Lake at Denver City Park seems to be the only
one to have the word "Prismatic" added to the name. The first place this terminology showed
up is in the Denver Municipal Facts issue of May 22, 1909, a publication of the City of Denver.
Early post cards like the one above, illustrated (with some careful air-brushing and coloring)
the rainbow of colored lighting effects on the water, as if generated by sunlight shining through a prism.
A thank you to the friends and
supporters of the Prismatic Electric Fountain:
I want to thank all of the friends and supporters of Frederic W. Darlington's Prismatic
Electric Fountain in Denver City Park. It was a signal accomplishment to create an authentic
replica of the original 1908 fountain and I invite you to review the
list of people who made this possible.
Without their persistence and dedication, our groundbreaking work and the spectacular
results would not have been possible. I want to single out Dick Gannon, a Denver Parks
and Recreation planner at the time, for being the champion of this project in the face
of skepticism and his unwavering support of my engineering and design work.
I retired from my consulting role with Denver Parks and Recreation in the spring of 2016.
The operation and maintenance of the fountain is totally in the hands of their facilities
maintenance department. I wish them well in their work to keep the fountain fully
operational so it will remain the attractive centerpiece of Ferril Lake and City Park
for many years to come.
It is up to the public to keep pressure on the Denver Parks and Recreation to keep the
fountain running properly since the facilities people have their priorities and budget
set by the management of DPR. Please let them know if you see something that is not working
and how much you enjoy the fountain.
By the time you read this message a transformation of this site from an interactive site
to a static one will have taken place. I have personally paid the cost of having this domain
over the years but since I am no longer involved with the operation and maintenance of the
fountain it seemed like the right time to eliminate certain elements of the site that were
oriented to my former active role with the fountain.
I will continue to pay for this domain for the next few years to maintain it as a tribute
to Frederic W. Darlington and document the work that went into creating the 2008 replica of
his work. I also want to thank Bruce Quackenbush, owner of
DuckBytes, for the donation of his time and
professional skills to create this comprehensive web site and for the use of his photography
of the fountain in operation.
Notice: This web site and its contents are produced by Larry Kerecman,
founder of the Friends of the Electric Fountain, to disseminate information about the Electric Fountain
in Ferril Lake at City Park in Denver, Colorado. This is not an official web site of the
City and County
of Denver Department of Parks and Recreation, which owns and operates the