When a big green planter materialized outside of Bank Square Books a couple of weeks ago, it stopped some people in their tracks.
Many locals had no idea it was coming.
“I hope you do a story on the fountain/planter/statue/monstrosity that is in front of Bank Square Books,” Sally Halsey posted on the Stonington-Mystic Patch Facebook page. “The town is wondering who chose it, where it came from, and when will ‘they’ decide it's too big and unattractive!”
The statute, which many mistook as a fountain, is actually a planter that at some point will have plants.
“Just noticed it yesterday as I drove through town,” Michele Peters wrote on the Groton Patch Facebook page. “It does stand out because of the bold green color.”
The Town of Groton had the planter installed as part of the ongoing Mystic Streetscape Project, the $3.6 million plan . Boston-based landscape architecture Kyle Zick, who did the designs for both the Stonington and Groton sides of the Mystic Streetscape Project said a photograph of a water trough for horses inspired the creation of planter.
Zick who also did the Beacon Street Streetscape Project in Brookline, Mass., looked through the Mystic River Historical Society’s Images of America: Mystic book for reference during the creation of the streetscape design. On page 79 of the book is a photograph of the horse-watering fountain. According to the Mystic River Historical Society the fountain stood in the intersection of West Main and Water Street in the early 1900s.
While Mystic’s past inspired the present day fountain not everyone thinks it belongs.
“Honestly...its a little over the top,” Nancy Gerrish Clang wrote on the Groton Patch Facebook page. "Doesn't really fit the location...maybe the center of Mystic River Park would have been better."
Other commenters felt whale better reflects the area’s history and also wondered if the whale was staying with the planter.
“A little too much with the whale and fountain,” Sherry Cutler wrote on the Groton Patch Facebook page. “Maybe move the whale? Wondering.... who paid for it....after the mess with the roads this summer?”
A group of downtown Mystic businesses own the Mystic whale, and according to Bank Square Books the whale is not going anywhere.
At some point, however, Mystic Streetscape Project Manager Rick Norris said there would be the addition of a sign that talked about the historical reference of the fountain.
Maybe in a few months everyone will get use to the planter and we won’t even notice it.
“Haven’t paid attention...Just know that the sliding wall is super great for visitors to rest while visiting and enjoy the goings on,” Marie Tyler Wiley wrote on the Stonington-Mystic Patch Facebook page.