How many Boston Properties Employees does it take to change a lightbulb?

[Kendall Square Fountain]
Galaxy, Earth, Sphere fountain in Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

I like fountains. I live on a street with a world-class
fountain (the Tanner Fountain in front of the Harvard Science
Center) at one end, and what was originally a very good fountain
(“Galaxy: Earth Sphere” by MIT professor Joe Davis) at the

This post is about the Kendall Square end. The original design
had a metal globe in the middle, jets of water spraying on the
globe in summer, steam mists arising around it in winter, and
small globes with different perforation patterns in them
illuminated at night. The globes weren’t as interesting as the
rainbows that form in the mist at the Science center on a sunny
afternoon, but they did change as you walked around them.

This fountain was installed in 1988. For most of the time
since then, it’s been broken.

explains the repairs that resulted in the water flow
being restored after some number of years in 2010. It mentions
that at that time the steam was still broken. No article I’ve
ever seen mentions that the lightbulbs in the small steel globes
have never been replaced (or maybe are just never turned on).

There’s also no mention that the fountain is turned off at
night and on weekends these days. During the day, it is often running at less
than full strength, so that the water streams don’t actually hit
the globe.

My guess is that Boston Properties, which is responsible for
maintaining the fountain, got significant zoning concessions in
return for providing “amenities” to the neighborhood. In my
opinion, it should get no more development permissions until it
has restored this amenity, and is providing it for residents as well
as employees.

[Science Center Fountain]
Tanner Fountain in Front of Harvard University’s Science Center


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