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The Fountain

The focal point of the Wylie Conference Center is its beautiful fountain. A work of art that is truly monumental, the fountain is the result of two years of research, design, and sculpture undertaken to honor Richard and Helen Young Post, a couple who have been instrumental in the progress and growth of Endicott College. Helen Young Post is a 1952 graduate of Endicott College.

As a form of monumental sculpture rarely undertaken today, the fountain at Wylie Conference Center may stand alone for its size, its scope, and its detail. According to our research, it is the largest such piece of public art to be constructed north of Boston in many years. A plaque on the fountain reads:

The Fountain

Fountain Facts

The Fountain Construction

The Fountain Foundation

  • Center foundation: 11’ side x 11’ long x 5’ deep
  • Coping foundation: 18” thick x 5’ deep, following the cloverleaf design of the fountain
The Fountain Construction outdoors

The Center Fountain

  • Weight: 35 tons (70,000 lbs.)
  • Features: Four granite sculptures: the lower wave base; the 13’-diameter bowl; the combined upper wave base and the 6’-diameterbowl; the upper wave shaft, used to attach three bronze guarding swans and the upper bronze sphere
The Fountain Construction large base close up

Water Capacity and Mechanicals

  • Capacity: 20,000 gallons of water filtered through a system located in the pump room in the basement of the Conference Center
  • Pump room: Houses the filtration system, three pumps, and control panels that govern the aquatics and lighting
  • Plumbing: Approximately 23 main plumbing lines (supply and return) between the Conference Center pump room and the fountain
  • Electrical: Approximately 16 conduits
The Fountain Construction

Bronze Sculptures

  • Four swans located in the reflecting pool. The largest swan, taking off in flight, has a wing span of 8’
  • Four conch shells, each placed on a granite base and surrounded by sculpted granite scallop shells
  • Three guarding swans on the upper granite shaft of the central fountain
  • An 18’-diameter sphere at the top of the fountain
The Fountain close up with water after construction

Aquatics Features

  • Central single jet from the top of the 18” bronze sphere at the top of the central fountain
  • Four arched (upward) jets from a hidden spray ring location at the edge of the upper bowl
  • Water flow over the edge off the upper and lower bowls
  • Four low bubblers located in the center of each of the cloverleaf of the reflecting pool
  • A stream of water coming out of each conch shell
The Fountain close up at night with water

Lighting Features

  • Four fixtures below the lower bowl
  • Three fixtures in each of the cloverleaf sections, illuminating the low bubblers, the swans, and the upper fountain
  • All fixtures are submersible and use the water to cool the fixtures
The Fountain Construction base close up

Fountain Designer: Debra Vitkosky

Artist and interior designer, Debra Vitkosky has worked extensively not only in fine art and design, but also in the creation of custom furnishings, architectural details, light fixtures, three dimensional art, and sculpture. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from San Francisco Art Institute and a Master of Education in Arts and Learning from Endicott College. In addition to two years of post-graduate work in interior design on the West Coast, Debra studied fine art restoration and conservation in Florence, Italy, and is a member of The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

The Fountain Construction planning team

Bronze Sculptor: Shelly Bradbury

Shelly Bradbury holds a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Boston University. She has served as an adjunct professor at Boston University and Gordon College, and she has exhibited works throughout Massachusetts and in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Her prestigious awards include the Helen Foster Barnett Award in Sculpture from the National Academy of Design in New York City, the Audubon Artists Gold Medal of Honor from the Salmagundi Club, and the Anna Hyatt Huntington Award from the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club. Shelly works from her studio in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

The Fountain Construction team making adjustments

Granite Sculptors: Rock of Ages, Vermont

Rock of Ages is the largest integrated quarrier, manufacturer, and retailer of memorials in North America. Chosen for the quality of their product and their years of experience, the team at Rock of Ages – which included Brian Koziar, project manager; Denis Gaboriault, engineer; and John Hanna, primary sculptor – worked closely with the design team from Endicott to translate drawings and models into the impressive stone expressions found in the Fountain at Wylie Conference Center.