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The fountain’s lead liner was ripped off by the storm and exposed the top bowl to deterioration.
WILMINGTON — The Kenan Fountain will be taking the summer off as the city prepares to address damage during Hurricane Florence.
The iconic centerpiece of the Fifth Avenue and Market Street intersection was ravaged by last September’s storm, during which high winds ripped up and folded over the lead liner that protects the top bowl of the water feature.
Exposing the bowl to the elements has now led to deterioration of the bowl, according to city spokesman Dylan Lee.
A bid for the repairs for the bowl damage is expected to go out soon, but a budget has not yet been determined. However, the price incurred by the repairs will be covered by FEMA, Lee said.
The repairs will delay an already scheduled restoration project the fountain was set to undergo prior to Hurricane Florence.
The capital project was to repair and replace some of the damaged stone work and lining system in the lower bowl.
“Once the top bowl is repaired we will go back into repair mode for the remainder of the fountain,” Lee said.
The capital project had a budget of $170,000 to $180,000.
The fountain’s placement in the center of the busy intersection has been put in the path of many cars over the years, causing damage to its stone exterior and base on numerous occasions.
Kenan Fountain was given to the city in 1921 by William R. Kenan Jr. in honor of his parents, William R. Kenan Sr., a Civil War veteran, and Mary Hargrave Kenan.
Originally, the fountain was more expansive, with an additional six-foot tier at its base. But the city scaled it back in 1953 to allow for four lanes of traffic around the fountain.
The intersection is known as Kenan Plaza, with benches on either side of the fountain on Fifth Avenue.
Reporter Hunter Ingram can be reached at 910343-2327 or Hunter.Ingram@StarNewsOnline.com.