The Market Fountain

Market Fountain unveiling

The Past is Present Once Again

An iconic piece of City of Rochester Public Market history is back after almost a century -- and you can have a visible commemorative presence along with it!

When the City of Rochester Public Market opened on its North Union Street site in 1905, it was one of only 125 prominent public places around the country to receive a limited edition, six-ton granite fountain. Designed primarily to serve horses--the primary transportation mode of that time--these fountains also made fresh water available to people and even dogs. Fountains were gifted by the National Humane Alliance as a practical expression of its animal welfare mission.

The Public Market's fountain was an important functional feature and an icon of the early Market. It can be seen in many early Market photographs. But by 1930, cars and trucks had replaced horses as the primary transportation mode--the fountain was deemed an obsolete obstacle and was hauled off the Market.  Its whereabouts are still unknown today.

In late 2017, by remarkable strokes of luck, Market staff discovered one of the original 125 fountains sitting on private property not far from Rochester.  The City was able to acquire this fountain, renovate and re-plumb it, and set it on the Market in a custom-designed courtyard between the Market Office house and indoor “B” Shed. On Saturday, September 28, 2019, Mayor Lovely Warren and hundreds gathered to triumphantly unveil the restored fountain-- a festive event that included a fabulous "ceremonial slurp" from the fountain, courtesy of two City of Rochester police horses! 

Fountain Courtyard Fountain courtyard - Oktoberfest 23

Help Make the Market More-- One Custom-Engraved Brick at a Time!

You can support Market community programs by ordering a custom-engraved commemorative brick to be included in a brick feature in the fountain courtyard ($300).  These are large, original Market bricks that were salvaged and stored during the Market renovation-expansion project of 2016-2017.  Only about 350 of these bricks are available, first come-first served!  With a brick purchase, you/your family/your business will not only have a very visible, long-term presence, but you will also support Market programs, initiatives, and facility improvements! 

Brick Ordering

If you are interested in ordering a custom-engraved brick to the fountain courtyard at the Market, get in touch with us at or by calling 585-428-7282.  We'll get back to you promptly with more details and information! 

Special Thanks to Essential Sponsors and Supporters

This project wouldn't have been nearly as easy or exciting without the support of: 

Friends of the Rochester Public Market, the Market's non-profit partner.  The Friends are providing fiscal and administrative support of the project.

Ellen Gugel and The Gugel Family, for generous contributions to support the project.

Roz Goldman, for providing an expert appraisal of the fountain.

Rochester Area Community Foundation, for a $7,500 challenge grant--such grants not only support the project directly but strongly encourage additional needed support.

Market District Business Association, for a generous contribution to support the project.

C.P. Ward, for expert and fast work on the moving and renovation of the fountain, and the design and build of the beautiful fountain courtyard.

Jack Walsh of Derby, Connecticut, a dedicated fan of all the National Humane Alliance fountains nationwide, whose web site and social media platforms about the fountains, and assistance getting the City connected to an available fountain, were instrumental in this project.   

Scott Wagner, for connecting the Market with the Gugel family!

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