Thursday, July 7, 2022 |
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Courtesy of Dale Dixon
The fountain at the entrance to Princeville is seen with the scaffolding in place. In front from left are members of Friends of the Fountain Kathy Dixon and Trudy Comba.
Leonard Grace holds the new trident recently made for Neptune and the fountain at the main entrance to Princeville.
Neptune now has his trident, though it’s not quite in-hand just yet.
The marble likeness of the sea god sits atop the fountain that has marked the entrance of Princeville on Kaua‘i’s North Shore since 1991. Through the years the trident has been stolen twice, but now a new replacement is set to be installed.
Renovations to the fountain are being done through a new group of Kaua‘i residents and supporters called Friends of the Fountain. It’s made up mostly of Princeville homeowners on a mission to preserve the fountain.
The group now has 62 owners who are members that have monthly meetings. They also started a website, and are in a process of forming a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.
“King Neptune, god of the sea, always carried a trident,” said Eleene Grace, vice president of Friends of the Fountain.
“The new trident will be bolted in place,” she said. “The new trident is complete by a local artist. It has gold leaf tips, and will be installed along with the missing arm on one of the angels when the cracks are repaired.”
The fountain requires other structural maintenance, like repairing 250 feet of cracks and open joints in the fountain. Friends of the Fountain has already repaired about 500 feet of ceiling cracks in the pump room, according to Grace.
The goal is to repair the fountain completely via donations, so the bill doesn’t land with the Princeville 2 Homeowner’s Association — the entity that maintains the fountain — and add to the estimated $48,000 annual maintenance cost.
That cost is split up among all who are involved in the association and, broken down, it evens out to cost each member $3.87 a month to maintain, according to the HOA.
The Friends of the Fountain group formed in November 2019, and since then has reached almost 400 supporters.
“We have received over $22,000 in donations in a little over two months,” Grace said. “Our goal is to restore the fountain to its original grandeur without any cost to the homeowners association.”
Since last year November, FOTF’s volunteer hours exceed 100, and they spent $10,790 in labor and materials so far.
The group is passionate about the beauty and history of the fountain, including the solid marble it was made of. “It’s the largest statue to come out of Italy in over 150 years. It would not be Princeville without the iconic fountain and the grand entrance to Princeville,” Grace said.
COVID-19 has changed how FOTF meets now. Their April meeting will be held via conference call.
According to Grace, per the COVID-19 restrictions, when maintenance work in parks is allowed, they will be ready, provided they get the approval to begin repairs.
Some of those, like further cracks in the foundation, need approval from board members in Honolulu before Friends of the Fountain can move forward. Those members, including developer Jeff Stone, could not be reached for comment before print.
Members of Princeville 2 put out an owners’ poll in late February, and a new option arose for homeowners to allow an “unknown third party” — later identified as the owners of the former St. Regis, Starwood Capital Group — to remove the fountain. The removal cost was estimated between $200,000 and $300,000.
Starwood Capital Group could not be reached for comment before press time.
Former Princeville Mirage resort owner Christopher Skase commissioned the fountain while on vacation at a hotel in Cliveden, England, in the late 1980s, inspired by the fountain owned by the Viscounts Astor. It was created out of solid marble and then shipped in pieces to Kaua‘i for installation.
Stephanie Shinno, features and community reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ok I’ve never even noticed that the sculpture is real marble. It’s so garish that I figured it was fake. It’s still garish and completely out-of-place but I think people would appreciate it more if they explained the history and that it’s the largest marble sculpture exported from Italy in 150 years.
I think this fountain is so out of place in Hawaii it is ridiculous.
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