Image Courtesy of:
Milstein Division of United States History, Local History & Geneology, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.
Architectural rendering of 788 Riverside Drive, with a fountain - circa 1910Photograph in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York, dated 1913, and showing the base of the fountain.Close-up of previous 1913 photograph showing water in the fountain, but no statuary. The water source is apparently a spinkler nozzle of some sort in the center of the "pool."Drawing of "Music of the Water" fountain from NY Sun, June 8, 1913. The article is an interview with model Audrey Munson, who posed for the statue.Photograph of 788 Riverside Drive, without fountain - circa 1924Close-up of fountain from photograph circa 1925. The light on the fountain, shadows stretching both northwest and southeast, and the lack of water in the basin or on the statue suggest the fountain may have been added to the photograph.
Audubon Park Historic District
This way to continue your walk . . .
When (and if) a fountain was installed in the oval park in Riverside Drive at the foot of 156th Street, and when it disappeared is unclear. It is visible in a 1910 architectural rendering for 788 Riverside Drive and in the 1925 photograph below, but not in the 1913 photograph at right (click to enlarge) or the "circa 1924" photograph. An interview with Audrey Munson, the model for the "mermaid" figure (New York Sun June 8, 1913) names the fountain "Music of the Water" and attributes it to  Allen George Newman. A picture accompanying the article shows a sculpture similar to the one in the photograph below, but with several significant differences. Perhaps Newman did complete the sculpture, but never installed it, and a creative photographer added it to the photograph below. Miss Munson's figure still graces many public works across Manhattan, including the Strauss memorial at Broadway and 106th Street, the Maine Memorial at the southeast entrance to Central Park, the Fireman's Memorial on Riverside Drive, and  "Civic Fame" atop the Municipal Building.
(click to enlarge)