Jeanne Van Orman
The formal Beaux Arts- mounmental urban design tradition of McKim Mead & White has been softened and made inviting to the adjacent neighborhoods by entryway steps between the plaza and the Museum building itself.
Here the kids from Park Slope, Prospect Heights and Crown Heights converge, most dramatically around the fountain (copied after one in Las Vegas!). They are mesmerized by the fountain waters which reach a crescendo. Some bring raincoats, others bust the barrier. Parents, passerbys, babies in strollers and people on the way to the subway stop watch themselves, some taking a seat on the nearby steps which function as an amphitheater.
The fountain constitutes a mini waterworks, akin to a Fireworks. The presence of "interactive" water amidst all the concrete of this site gets kids (and others) involved in one of the four elements of the Earth.