FRAZER FOUNTAIN

COMPLETED: November 2016

PROJECT DETAILS:

LOCATION: HYDE PARK, SYDNEY
CLIENT: CITY OF SYDNEY
ARCHITECT: JACKSON TEECE
COMMENCEMENT DATE: MARCH 2016

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ABOUT:

To complete works, Frazer Fountain received lead weathering to the string moulding course, repointing to all joints, two applications of desalination poultice to pull out unwanted minerals and a gentle low-pressure wash with soft bristle brush.

Historically significant for both its benefactor and the display of craftsmanship, Frazer Fountain is one of a mismatched pair of public drinking fountains commissioned by John Frazer MLC. Designed and sculptured from Pyrmont sandstone by Thomas Sapsford and Lawrence Beveridge in 1880, unveiled in 1884, Frazer Fountain featured elegant carving, Aberdeen granite basins and communal drinking cups in an era when plumbing delivering clean drinking water was the purview of the wealthy. Rich in history and controversy, the Hyde Park fountain was moved in 1917 to make way for the Emden Gun, and yet again in 1934 for the remodelling of Hyde Park South to its current placement. A time capsule discovered during HBS Groups’ 2016 restoration leaves cryptic clues to dissent between those involved in the 1934 relocation.

HIGHLIGHTS & INPUTS:

Scaffold was built around all aspects and over the fountain to allow for wrap to completely encapsulate the work site for preliminary and cleaning works, minimising disturbance to the many members of public who visit Hyde Park daily for business or leisure.

Gommagé system was used to thoroughly clean carbon build up, dirt and lichen from Frazer Fountain with all respect and care due to a heritage structure.

Intensive surveying was undertaken to determine exact placement of footings before the careful and time consuming process of marking and dismantling the upper elements of the fountain. The arch course, comprised of four large detailed stones, was cradled in a steel frame constructed around and through the structure with foam filling pumped in to occupy any void and allow for as little shift as possible. The result was a significant feat of engineering allowing the arch course to be lifted from the footing support columns as one piece.

Dismantled to the substrate level, works were undertaken to renew plumbing, reinforce substrate support and stabilise footings.

Footings and column supports were rebuilt to exacting survey measurements, with a tolerance of potentially less than 1mm; with the arch section lifted back into place, all mating planes met precisely. Stone deemed too far decayed was replicated and replaced with stock sourced from 200 George Street at a tolerance of 1mm or less to original, with dental courses and scroll work also receiving indents of the same.