Downtown Ithaca celebrates new Commons Fountain

Commons Fountain

Water feature resembles city’s beautiful gorges

ITHACA, MAY 1, 2017 —  City of Ithaca officials today celebrated the completion of the much-anticipated fountain on The Commons with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the site in Downtown Ithaca.

The granite fountain resembles a gorge and serves as an art piece and functioning water element on the pedestrian mall. Sasaki Associates, the firm that built The Commons, is credited with the design which was inspired by Ithaca’s landscape. It meant to help the public appreciate how water plays a role in the community.  The structure sits in Bank Alley, a central gathering spot and the most spacious area on the newly renovated Commons.

“This fountain is an investment in the future of the community. When you’re trying to build a remarkable long-term public space, having some sort of water feature element is truly significant,” said Gary Ferguson, executive director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA).

“It’s fitting with the character of our community and the surrounding geography that we have a water feature here. We take a moment today to reflect on the beauty of it and how it replicates the waterfalls and gorges in this beautiful area. We thank all that were involved for making this project come to fruition,” added Steven Headrick, president of the DIA Board of Directors.

When the fountain is operating, water bubbles near one end and flows along the top of the structure before it cascades over an indented portion of the structure while a couple of feet away a series of tiny sprinklers shoot water a couple of inches into the air. The fountain is controlled with a timer that sets water to operate during the day (weather permitting) from May through October. The fountain has a system that will recycle the water to limit water use.

Under the leadership of Mayor Svante Myrick and City of Ithaca staff, the fountain was funded as a part of the comprehensive $15.7 million Commons Reconstruction Project, which received Federal, State, and local funding. Roberto DiVincentis, president of Vacri Construction Corporation, the construction company hired for The Ithaca Commons Repair and Upgrade Project, also made a substantial financial contribution in honor of his father Raimondo DeVincentis for whom the fountain is named, noted Joann Cornish, director of economic development for the city.

“Most great public spaces have some type of water feature.  We in Ithaca are truly lucky to be surrounded by beautiful waterfalls, gorges, and natural beauty.  We wanted to bring some of those features into the heart of the city. While not as grand as originally envisioned, we love the new water feature and are celebrating the completion of the last remaining feature capping off many years of planning for the Commons,” Cornish said.
For more information about the fountain, contact Economic Development Planner Jennifer Kusznir at (607) 274-6550 or email her at