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Issue Date: August 2009


Fountain of Eternal Life


Seth Shapiro
It goes by various names:the Fountain of Eternal Life, the War Memorial Fountain. But when the monument on Memorial Plaza was being designed by Marshall Fredericks to honor World War II and Korean War veterans, some Clevelanders just called it inappropriate. The main figures in the sculptor’s plans were to be nude. While today’s fountain shows a nude male rising out of flames, Frederick also wanted to include a nude female. American Gold Star Mothers of Cuyahoga County were adamant that the figures be clothed, so Fredericks removed the female and added some strategically placed flames. “By incorporating the flames, Marshall was able to placate the concerns,” says Melissa Ford, archivist for the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. His original idea was used for his Star Dream Fountain, which was dedicated in Royal Oak, Mich., in 1997. To this day, some Royal Oak residents are opposed to the nudity of the statue’s two figures.

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