August 12, 2008 | 6:00
I was going through The Times' photos of Spring Street and became rather irked that someone labeled this image in grease pencil. This is the intersection of Main, Temple and Spring before Spring was realigned.
Then I noticed this inscription on the back. Most of it was illegible, but I could make out "demolished by runaway team." A mystery!
Voila! The Newmark Fountain!
|In 1892, the fountain was destroyed in a
spectacular accident in which a runaway team of four horses belonging to D.F. Donegan raced down
Temple Street. One horse was killed instantly and another had to be shot,
The Times said. D.F. Donegan was a major city contractor who owned a
large stable that was often cited for poor conditions. The city tried
to collect damages for the fountain and Donegan filed a counterclaim
for the cost of the dead horses, saying that the fountain was an
obstacle in the street.
In November 1893, Donegan finally
agreed to replace the fountain. "It is a handsome piece of work and an
ornament to the section of the city in which it is erected," The Times
Did the person who made the notation on the back of the photo actually witness the accident? We can only wonder.
Bonus fact: As far as I can determine, Sand Street vanished long ago, but intersected with Broadway north of Temple at the southern entrance of the Broadway tunnel, which has also disappeared.