Dec 3, 2020 | Dallas Morning News
▲ An artist's rendering of the Nancy Best Fountain in Klyde Warren Park, which will feature the world's tallest water jets. Construction on the $10 million project will begin in the summer with completion expected in December 2021.(Courtesy of Klyde Warren Park)
Nancy Best, a longtime board member of Klyde Warren Park, and her educational entrepreneur husband, Randy, are giving the park and the city a $10 million Christmas gift unlike anything the world has ever experienced.
And it’s expected to be ready for a holiday unwrapping next year.
The Dallas couple’s foundation is paying for a next-generation, interactive, “super fountain” that will shoot jets of water up to 95 feet into the air — higher than any other immersive fountain in the world.
It will be one of the most distinctive free water parks in the country.
The water will come down like raindrops, while kids — and adults — play safely in a shallow wading pool or people-watch from the splashless sidelines.
Every evening, the fountain will come alive with an hourly aquatic “fireworks” display of soaring water that’s lit by a kaleidoscope of colors and dancing to soundtracks — a show that will be visible for miles.
The Nancy Best Fountain will be at the Pearl Street entrance on the east side of the park where the big red Christmas ornaments are this year.
It seems destined to become a global icon of Dallas and a beacon to downtown.
“The only way to describe this fountain is spectacular,” said Jody Grant, chairman of the board of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. With just a tad of Texas bravado, Grant likens it to the nightly light show at the Eiffel Tower. “When you look at aerial photos of Dallas in the future, we firmly believe this is the ‘blimp shot’ you will see.”
Construction of the triangular project — with each side being roughly 100 feet long — will begin in the summer, and completion is slated for December.
“One thing that is great about this project is that it won’t take long,” said Randy Best, a longtime park supporter. “Most things you wonder if you’ll live to see them. This is a quickie.”
The fountain is being created by Los Angeles-based Fluidity Design Consultants, led by Jim Garland, who’s been called “the Elton John of fountains” and a maestro of “spray, splash and sound.”
Garland is well acquainted with Klyde Warren Park, having designed the park’s three existing water features.
He and his team were responsible for the two granite fountains that span four blocks in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the $90 million redo of the main fountain garden at Longwood Gardens, the former estate of industrialist Pierre S. du Pont in Kennett Square, Pa.