Revson Fountain

Revson Fountain is a fountain installed in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, a complex of buildings in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The fountain was dedicated in 1964 and a redesign was completed in 2009.

Revson Fountain
The redesigned fountain in 2015
Completion date6 April 1964 (1964-04-06)[1]
30 September 2009 (2009-09-30)[2]
LocationManhattan, New York City
Coordinates40.772319°N 73.983404°W / 40.772319; -73.983404


We conceived it as a lighted, glowing, moving feature for the plaza and gave it the focal point a fireplace gives a home.

Philip C. Johnson, architect, quoted in March 7, 1964 New York Times article.[3]

Buildings of Lincoln Center

Buildings and structures in Lincoln Center:
Clark Studio Theater; Samuel B. and David Rose Building; Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse; Walter Reade Theater
Juilliard School
Alice Tully Hall
Claire Tow Theater; Lincoln Center Theater; LCT3 Theater; Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater; Vivian Beaumont Theater
Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center
David Geffen Hall
Bruno Walter Auditorium; New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Metropolitan Opera House
Josie Robertson Plaza; Revson Fountain
Damrosch Park
David H. Koch Theater
David Rubenstein Atrium
Jazz at Lincoln Center

Designed by Philip Johnson Associates, the fountain was dedicated on April 7, 1964.[4] It was originally called the Lincoln Center fountain;[1] its namesake is Charles Revson. The fountain was funded by the Revlon Foundation in 1962.[5]

Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the lead architects of the 2006 renovation of Lincoln Center, made several proposals to redesign the fountain, eventually changing the perimeter bench to a floating granite disk; the fountain itself was rebuilt by WET Design from 2007 to 2009.[6] Andrew Dolkart objected to the redesign: "It’s the thing that upsets me most of all about what's happened at Lincoln Center. They thought that they needed to spend a lot of money ripping out Philip Johnson's fountain and putting in something new instead of restoring something that worked well."[7] The rebuilt fountain debuted on September 30, 2009, at a ceremony attended by members of Charles Revson's family.[2]


As originally designed, the fountain employed 568 jets and 88 lights with a combined illumination power of 26 kW. It was 38 feet (12 m) in diameter and was computer controlled, capable of shooting water 150 feet (46 m) in the air.[1] J. S. Hamel of Hamel and Lancer was credited with engineering the fountain. The core of the fountain was an array of 40 jets arranged in a 6-foot (1.8 m) diameter circle around 16 lights capable of throwing water 30 ft (9.1 m) in the air; there were two larger concentric rings with smaller jets outside the core. The total combined flowrate of all the nozzles was 9,000 US gal/min (570 l/s).[3]

The water level of the fountain was originally elevated from the plaza level in the original design, which used a curb and bench around the perimeter of the retaining pool; during the redesign, the water level was lowered to the level of the plaza and the bench was reduced to a circular rim floating on slim supports. The redesigned fountain contains 353 jets arrayed in three concentric rings and 272 lights with a total illumination power of 27.2 kW.[7] After the redesign, the fountain is capable of shooting water as high as 60 feet (18 m) in the air;[6] 24 pumps move up to 16,500 US gal/min (1,040 l/s).[2]

Revson Fountain has been featured in several notable films set in New York City, including:

In 2017, the water in Revson Fountain was dyed bright yellow during a prank.[9]


  1. "An Electronic Fountain Bows at Lincoln Center". The New York Times. April 7, 1964. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  2. Howell, Nicole (August 14, 2017). "9 Things to Know about the Revson Fountain". The Score. Lincoln Center. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  3. "Lincoln Plaza Fountain to Dance to Computer Tune". The New York Times. March 7, 1964. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  4. "Lincoln Center Plaza Monuments - Revson Fountain : NYC Parks". Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  5. Blumenthal, Ralph (September 16, 1998). "Lincoln Center Gets Gift of $25 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  6. Seabrook, John (January 3, 2010). "Water Music: The fountain architect who gave water a voice". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  7. Pogrebin, Robin (August 25, 2009). "The Lincoln Center Fountain Is Being Taught Some New Moves". The New York Times. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  8. Bowen, Peter (June 28, 2015). "Starring Lincoln Center: 11 Films That Cast the Center for the Performing Arts". The Score. Lincoln Center. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  9. Connelly, Eileen AJ (November 4, 2017). "Pranksters turn Lincoln Center fountain water bright yellow". New York Post. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
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