Replica of Iconic DUMBO Water Tower Headed to Brooklyn Bridge Park

By Janet Upadhye on May 9, 2013 2:25pm 

 Tom Fruin's watertower, made of salvaged plexiglas and steel, has become a symbol of DUMBO arts and culture.
DUMBO's Iconic Watertower
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DUMBO — Admirers of DUMBO's iconic water tower can now get up close and personal with a replica of the sculpture made from nearly 1,000 pieces of salvaged, colored plexiglass.

While the stained-glass original remains a fixture in Brooklyn's skyline, artist Tom Fruin recently created a new and near identical version.

"A client in Wisconsin wanted to buy the original," Fruin explained. "I didn't want to sell her that one so I decided to make her a new one."

Named Watertower II, Fruin's newest sculpture will soon make the trip to Wisconsin where it will be put on display in a private sculpture park. But before it leaves Brooklyn, Fruin wanted to share it with the public. It will be on display in Brooklyn Bridge Park May 10-12.

The original water tower was erected atop 20 Jay St. in 2012 and quickly became a symbol of Brooklyn's creative waterfront neighborhood. Seen from the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and FDR Drive, the water tower sparkles with kaleidoscopic colors during the day and is lit from the inside at night.

Now Watertower II will give onlookers the chance to more closely examine the intricate sculpture that Fruin calls a "tribute to the iconic New York water tower and a symbol of the vibrancy of Brooklyn.”

Similar to the original, Watertower II is made from scraps of plexiglass reclaimed from "the floors of Chinatown sign shops, the closed DUMBO studio of artist Dennis Oppenheim, and Astoria’s demolition salvage warehouse," Fruin said.

But the composition is a little cleaner on the newer version, he added.

Fruin will be in the Main Street section of the park over the weekend near his sculpture for anyone who wants to meet him and inquire about his work.