Hobart Institute donates fountain


For the Miami Valley Today

TROY – Many readers probably remember the fountain in front of Hobart Institute of Welding Technology, which the institute will now be donating to the Miami County Park District.

The fountain was dedicated in 1967 to commemorate Hobart Brothers Company’s 50th anniversary. The totemic tower is more than 19 feet high and weighs 2,700 pounds. It consists of five spheres, which are fabricated from silicon bronze and welded with the Gas Tungsten Arc Welding process. The famous sculptor George Tsutakawa, professor of art at the University of Washington, created the fountain with the help of Jack Uchida, an engineer with the Boeing Company in Seattle. David Niland, professor of architecture at the University of Cincinnati, designed the raised concrete stage, reflecting pool, and gardens.

Today, employees, students, visitors, and the public-at-large can enjoy the beauty of this great piece of art, one of the largest bronze sculptures in the United States. Tsutakawa, who died at age 87 in 1997, explained the fountain is an expression of man’s balance and harmony with his environment. The water action symbolizes the continuity and rhythm of life. The totemic form stands for the past, the present and the future of the family. The commemorative plaque reads: “Dedicated as a symbol of the Beauty – Strength – Flexibility Available from good craftsmanship In the art of welding”

Much credit for the years of upkeep and the renovation of the fountain in 2004 belongs to the Institute’s former president, Andre Odermatt. His passion for history and years of dedication to the Hobart Family inspired Odermatt to take on the enormous challenge of delivering the fountain back to the community of Troy and all its visitors.

While the fountain is incredibly beautiful, it has reached the end of its useful life at its current location on Trade Square East standing over the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology. To continue its incredible legacy and highlight its beauty and preservation for ongoing years, the institute has made the donation to the Miami County Park District.

The fountain will be displayed at the Hobart Urban Nature Preserve, located at 1400 Tyrone Rd. in Troy, where it will grace the park alongside the four other welded sculptures on display. Peter Hobart had the desire for the fountain to be placed at the nature preserve, and now that wish becomes a reality.

“The community has shared with me many stories about the sculpture on how it served as a backdrop for prom photos, marriage proposals, book reading, pool dipping, skateboarding, and a place to just cool off during the hot summer days,” said Scott A. Mazzulla, president and CEO. “Its long history has touched many generations here in our community, and we are proud to be part of that history.”

J. Scott Myers, executive director of the Miami County Park District, said, “We are grateful to have been entrusted with such a unique piece of our community’s history. We know that many fond memories are tied to this fountain, and we hope that many more memories are made in its new permanent location. While it will no longer function as a fountain, it will have a great home next to the water in the preserve. The sculpture will join four others that were generously donated by the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology. This sculpture, much like the Hobart family, has been an important fixture in the Troy community and we are thankful for both.”

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