Bethesda Fountain

The Bethesda fountain is the jewel in the crown of Bethesda Terrace. It is one of the largest fountains in New York – 26 feet high and 96 feet wide. Impressive!

The fountain is “crowned” by the “Angel of the Waters” – an eight-foot tall neoclassical bronze sculpture, standing above four small cherubim. The angel holds a lily in one hand and blesses the waters in her feet with the other, thus blessing the waters in the Croton Aqueduct that, back in 1842, was used to supply fresh water to New York City. Actually, the angel gave the name to the whole terrace.It was first considered to be named just “The Water Terrace” in the Greensward Plan, but was named “Bethesda Terrace” after the placement of the monument.
The Angel of the Waters was designed by Emma Stebbins. The monument was placed in 1873. A historical fact is that Mrs. Stebbins was the first woman to receive a public commission for an artwork by a New York City Mayor.

And to top it all – the monument is a famous movie location, appearing in numerous movies like Ransom, One Fine Day, Tommy Boy, Bullets over Broadway and Hair.