Friday Flashbacks: Louisville Falls Fountain


by Doug Proffitt

Posted on April 14, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 19 at 9:49 AM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - The buildup for it lasted for months. People said it would be Louisville's St. Louis arch. 

Many thought it would draw thousands of tourists every year but it existed only a decade.

It was the Louisville Falls Fountain and it was in the middle of the Ohio River at downtown. 

The fountain was a gift from the Bingham family and in August 1988, it made its splashy debut.

Many have wondered what happened to the fountain.  WHAS11 News found it from the air in SKY11, downriver from New Albany, sitting in the river on the property of the McBride Towboat Company.

It is now privately owned and some of its parts have been used for scrap but the McBride folks told WHAS11 News that it’s still in really good shape.

The mechanics and amazing pumping system are mostly intact but the fountain spout is capped.

The fountain itself cost Mary and Barry Bingham nearly $3 million. They were inspired by a fountain in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. 

Mr. Bingham died five days before it was unveiled.

The city took over its upkeep and pulled the plug in 1998 after it became too costly, running close to $200,000 year.