Whether you’re watching a play, concert, or even looking into shop windows, design is everywhere. The “obscure” design world can change a person’s mood, perspective and even emotions. It’s a subliminal form of design, and can play a large role in someone’s everyday life.

One of Jacksonville’s most-notable landmarks is Friendship Fountain. The colorful array of the light and water dancing 100 feet above ground is hard to miss. Design played a large part in the creation of this wonderful area, and you can’t help but admire the intricacy of the fountain’s brilliant design.

After 35 years of service, the fountain has undergone a recent makeover. The beloved fountain suffered from time’s hand, deteriorated and corroded, until recent renovations by Delta Fountains reversed the damage.

Delta Fountains provided modern technology to transform the timeworn fountain into a beautiful feature of light and music. The renovations reduced the amount of energy used to operate the landmark and to attract a larger audience, awed by the fountain’s glistening restoration. The fountain now pumps anywhere between 3,500 to 6,000 gallons of water into the air per minute, but at 130,000 watts of energy less than previous years.

Friendship Fountain is just one of many fountain designs by Delta. Worldwide, the company works to produce designs that stimulate and captivate audiences, and every creation requires elaborate planning.

Joe Petry, the president of Jacksonville-based Delta Fountains, explained that the true design of a fountain lies within the conceptual illustration. It is born as a dream that’s intricately constructed into a reality. Each fountain represents an idea, and in some cases, a way to respect loss, like the September 11 Memorial.


“Many times a designer ties subtle or even obvious metaphors into water features. For the National September 11 Memorial, ‘Reflecting Absence’ was the theme. The lower void in the fountain exemplified this,” Petry said.

Every design by Delta is unique, and the teams working to create the fountains vary from  project to project. While some fountain designs are finished in as little as 90 days with a relatively small group of team members, other projects can take as long as six or seven years and consist of hundreds of people working together

The memorial at Ground Zero required hundreds of designers, engineers and architects to bring to life architect Michael Arad, and landscape architect Peter Walker’s design. Delta Fountains produced the perfect material and engineering to control the flow of 60,000 gallons of water down to the gallon. The memorial is an extravagant balance of sorrow and courage, unifying onlookers through emotion and mechanics.

“Water features are natural gathering places. Unlike sculpture alone, a water feature moves and can have animation to further attract crowds,” Petry said. “In memorials, water is a life sign and can be a peaceful reminder of loss, with hope.”

While fountains like the Ground Zero memorial resonate a deep sense of absence and destruction, others like Friendship Fountain encourage romance and companionship. Delta Fountains bridges the gap between imagination and engineering, rousing emotion through design.

There’s no denying the magnetic attraction we have as humans toward the gentle ebb of water or the undeniable pull of magnificent and illuminated geysers. Delta Fountains captures the spirit of water, unifying us, calming us and setting our minds at ease. For some, it’s the lure of cheerful dancing waters that coax us toward the edge of a pool. For others, it’s the closest connection we have to lost loved ones. For all of us, it’s the magic of a design that links us to both the past and present.