09 June 2010

Research Request: The Fountain at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Revere, Massachusetts

We're looking for information regarding a fountain that was installed on the grounds of Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Revere when the church was built in the 1920s. If anyone knows anything about the fountain and/or has picture they are willing to share, we would be most grateful!

The historian at Saint Anthony of Padua Church informed us the the statue was dismantled circa 1940 to make more room for parking, and the eagle on top was given to Boston College.  Jeff made a trip to Boston College and we believe we've located the eagle - which is shown in the photo below.

Stone Eagle at Boston College, outside Conte Forum

A biography of the Rev. Ernest Rovai, pastor and builder of the church, describes the fountain as follows: 
On the left side of the grounds is a most wonderful fountain, given by the residents of Torre le Nocelle, Revere. The bases of this unusual fountain are of granite and these are surmounted by four huge sunfish, from the mouths of which water pours. A massive granite eagle, with outspread wings, surmounts the entire structure, and all is executed in so perfect a manner that this particular fountain is known as one of the most unique and perfect in the country.

Below is a copy of the original article which was graciously provided to us by the church historian...

St. Anthony's Church Rectory Article

... and a page from Albert P. Langtry's "Metropolitan Boston: A Modern History" (1929) that describes the same fountain.

From "Metropolitan Boston: A Modern History," by Albert P. Langtry, page 39.

What we've been trying to ascertain is whether or not the fountain shown in the photo below is the same (or at least parts of it) as the one that was in the garden of Saint Anthony's of Revere.

Ardolino Bros. Fountain - date and place of photo as yet unknown.

The fountain above was carved in Revere, MA by the Ardolino brothers / cousins in 1915. Originally it was intended as a gift to the residents of Torre le Nocelle, Italy, but was never installed.  At this point we're still not sure if the fountain even made it to Italy.  

Below is a 1915 article from the Boston Daily Globe regarding the Ardolino Bros. fountain.

Boston Daily Globe, May 3 1915, pg. 8

There are obvious differences between the fountain in the photo and the fountain described as being in the church garden of Saint Anthony's, but .... there are also enough similarities to make us wonder if the fountain wasn't at some point revised and given instead to Saint Anthony's in Revere.

Soooo ... is anyone hiding a photo of the fountain in Saint Anthony's garden that they'd like to share?  Or have suggestions on where else to look for one?  :-)

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