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Revson Fountain is a fountain installed in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, a complex of buildings in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan in New York City, United States. It was dedicated in 1964 and a redesign was completed in 2009.

Revson Fountain
150919 003 Lincoln Center - Revson Fountain, Koch Theater, Metropolitan Opera (21223352214).jpg
The redesigned fountain in 2015
Completion date6 April 1964 (1964-04-06)[1]
30 September 2009 (2009-09-30)[2]
LocationNew York City, New York, U.S.
Coordinates40°46′20″N 73°59′00″W / 40.772319°N 73.983404°W / 40.772319; -73.983404Coordinates: 40°46′20″N 73°59′00″W / 40.772319°N 73.983404°W / 40.772319; -73.983404


We conceived it as a lighted, glowing, moving feature for the plaza and gave it the focal point a fireplace gives a home.

Philip C. Johnson, architect, quoted in March 7, 1964 New York Times article.[3]

Buildings of Lincoln Center

Buildings and structures in Lincoln Center:
Clark Studio Theater; Samuel B. and David Rose Building; Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse; Walter Reade Theater
Juilliard School
Alice Tully Hall
Claire Tow Theater; Lincoln Center Theater; LCT3 Theater; Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater; Vivian Beaumont Theater
Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center
David Geffen Hall
Bruno Walter Auditorium; New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Metropolitan Opera House
Josie Robertson Plaza; Revson Fountain
Damrosch Park
David H. Koch Theater
David Rubenstein Atrium
Jazz at Lincoln Center

Designed by Philip Johnson Associates, the fountain was dedicated on April 7, 1964.[4] It was originally called the Lincoln Center fountain;[1] its namesake is Charles Revson. The fountain was funded by the Revlon Foundation in 1962.[5]

Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the lead architects of the 2006 renovation of Lincoln Center, made several proposals to redesign the fountain, eventually changing the perimeter bench to a floating granite disk; the fountain itself was rebuilt by WET Design from 2007 to 2009.[6] Andrew Dolkart objected to the redesign: "It’s the thing that upsets me most of all about what's happened at Lincoln Center. They thought that they needed to spend a lot of money ripping out Philip Johnson's fountain and putting in something new instead of restoring something that worked well."[7] The rebuilt fountain debuted on September 30, 2009, at a ceremony attended by members of Charles Revson's family.[2]


Original fountain design; photographed by Suzanne Szasz for Documerica in August 1973.

As originally designed, the fountain employed 568 jets and 88 lights with a combined illumination power of 26 kW. It was 38 feet (12 m) in diameter and was computer controlled, capable of shooting water 150 feet (46 m) in the air.[1] J. S. Hamel of Hamel and Lancer was credited with engineering the fountain. The core of the fountain was an array of 40 jets arranged in a 6-foot (1.8 m) diameter circle around 16 lights capable of throwing water 30 ft (9.1 m) in the air; there were two larger concentric rings with smaller jets outside the core. The total combined flowrate of all the nozzles was 9,000 US gal/min (570 l/s).[3]

The water level of the fountain was originally elevated from the plaza level in the original design, which used a curb and bench around the perimeter of the retaining pool; during the redesign, the water level was lowered to the level of the plaza and the bench was reduced to a circular rim floating on slim supports. The redesigned fountain contains 353 jets arrayed in three concentric rings and 272 lights with a total illumination power of 27.2 kW.[7] After the redesign, the fountain is capable of shooting water as high as 60 feet (18 m) in the air;[6] 24 pumps move up to 16,500 US gal/min (1,040 l/s).[2]

In popular mediaEdit

Revson Fountain has been featured in several notable films set in New York City, including:

In 2017, the water in Revson Fountain was dyed bright yellow during a prank.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "An Electronic Fountain Bows at Lincoln Center". The New York Times. April 7, 1964. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Howell, Nicole (August 14, 2017). "9 Things to Know about the Revson Fountain". The Score. Lincoln Center. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Lincoln Plaza Fountain to Dance to Computer Tune". The New York Times. March 7, 1964. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Lincoln Center Plaza Monuments - Revson Fountain : NYC Parks". Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  5. ^ Blumenthal, Ralph (September 16, 1998). "Lincoln Center Gets Gift of $25 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Seabrook, John (January 3, 2010). "Water Music: The fountain architect who gave water a voice". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Pogrebin, Robin (August 25, 2009). "The Lincoln Center Fountain Is Being Taught Some New Moves". The New York Times. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  8. ^ Bowen, Peter (June 28, 2015). "Starring Lincoln Center: 11 Films That Cast the Center for the Performing Arts". The Score. Lincoln Center. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  9. ^ Connelly, Eileen AJ (November 4, 2017). "Pranksters turn Lincoln Center fountain water bright yellow". New York Post. Retrieved 9 July 2019.

External linksEdit