CORPUS CHRISTI, Tx. — The 101 year old Queen of the Sea fountain, the oldest piece of public art in Corpus Christi, is flowing again in the latest example of efforts to revitalize the downtown-area.
"We're getting a lot of feedback from people who make it a point to call us and say how happy they are to see things like this that are being restored," Downtown Management District Communication and Events Manager Jordan Michael said.
Fifty thousand dollars in bond money that Corpus Christi voters approved in 2014 paid for the renovations that began in February. The city says there are still kinks to work out, but water was flowing from the fountain on Wednesday.
"The thought behind the piece is in the celebration of the city and the beautiful area that we live in," Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department Superintendent Lisa Oliver said.
The Daughters of the Confederacy commissioned the Queen of the Sea in 1914, and work was completed four years later. Despite those Civil War roots, a local tour guide says the fountain's meaning is quite the opposite.
"This particular monument and fountain has nothing to do with war," Susan Trevino of Explore Corpus Christi Tours said. "It does not celebrate a war hero. It's not a statue of a person. It was intentionally done so folks would think about peace and the future."
Trevino's tours have changed since the fountain's recent restoration.
"We used to pass by it very quickly when it was not operating, but now we like to stop and show exactly what it represents," Trevino said. "The most beautiful city in the world, Corpus Christi, Texas, was bestowed with every gift imaginable."
Those gifts are etched in the stone monument above the fountain. It depicts a maiden who represents Corpus Christi receiving gifts from Mother Nature and Neptune.
"The gifts of the earth and the gifts of the sea," Trevino said. "We have everything here in our city, and this particular piece of public art depicts that beautifully."