Friday, August 29, 2014
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Mountain fountain taking shape downtown

Berry Bate designed the mountain fountain at the First Citizens Plaza. Berry Bate designed the mountain fountain at the First Citizens Plaza.

Crews placed the copper mountaintop on the new fountain at the First Citizens Plaza on Wednesday, giving a clear picture for the first time of what the downtown piece will look like.

The mountain fountain, designed by sculptor Berry Bate of Asheville, is going up now. Under Bate's direction, crews with the Trace Co. have poured the 15-foot diameter concrete circle that will contain boulders and the copper artwork. Water will flow down from the copper mountains to the boulders. The dome at the top is 10 feet high.
The boulders will start going into the fountain pool on Friday and continue next week, she said.
"It's ringed with Pisgah, Pinnacle and Sugarloaf, the mountains that surround Hendersonville," she said. "We wanted to make it what was meaningful to Hendersonville."
The artwork on the First Citizens Plaza is the most visible part of the city's $1.6 million makeover of the 500 and 600 blocks. The city had planned a gateway sculpture at the Umi corner, at Seventh and Main, but the council could not agree on a design and instead settled on a stone welcome sign featuring the city's stylized H. The City Council allocated $70,000 for the fountain and $40,000 for the gateway sculpture.
Bate works with copper, bronze, iron and stone, and has done work at Chimney Rock, Jump Off Rock, the Biltmore Estate and the Grove Park Inn. She said she is enjoying the Hendersonville project, which draws a lot of comments and questions from passersby.
"I'm so fortunate after 32 years of doing this to be given such nice work," she said.