Sunday, October 05, 2014

Vaillancourt Fountain

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Here's an old photo of San Francisco's modernist Vaillancourt Fountain, in a plaza along the Embarcadero across from the Ferry Building. You can tell this is an old photo because of the Embarcadero Freeway lurking in the background. This was taken a couple of years after the big Loma Prieta earthquake that damaged the old freeway, and the city was in the very early stages of tearing it out. If you look closely you can see construction equipment on the lower deck of the freeway.

The one thing everyone seems to know about this fountain is that it was vandalized by U2's Bono during a concert in 1987. I actually liked them at the time, but I still thought it was a dumb stunt. It looks even worse with a few decades of hindsight, as Bono's aged into a pretentious celebrity buffoon (who hasn't had a decent album since 1993's Zooropa). First he vandalizes a fountain, then he comes and dumps his new album on your iPod without even asking.

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