December 21, 2005

3 ideas for the Quad Cities

A reader sent in the following, proposing 3 unique and original ideas for the area.
Hello, to whom it may concern. I grew up in Moline, IL and visit often. I have recently had 3 ideas for Moline/Quad Cities. I wish to share them with as many people that I can contact through email and maybe someone will utilize one of them.

A) World's Largest Fountain!
The Quad Cities has 3 successful Casinos and one GIANT RIVER... giving an ENDLESS supply of water!!! One thing Vegas doesn't have... WATER!!! Wouldn't it be great if all the quad cities and casinos could pitch in to built the world's largest fountain in the middle of the Mississippi to be seen by the bridges and shores!
I have been to Vegas only a few times but the most impressive attraction I saw was the Bellagio Fountains which were incredible... Seen in the movie Oceans 11
It could be one giant fountain or one big one and two smaller ones.

Maybe lit up with a light show. Maybe it could run a little all the time and then have shows on weekends!

It would help attract tourists and gain community pride!

Maybe the Quad Cities could become the Community of Fountains?

B) "Eat Street"
I lived in Minneapolis where they have a street near downtown they call
"Eat Street". I guess this is because it has some restaurants on it. It is actually a little rough neighborhood and does not have that many restaurants.

Moline's 16th St. has a ton of restaurants. I think it would be great to rename it "Eat Street" and have a race festival from downtown to South Park and all the restaurants could have outdoor booths and music! This could replace the labor day "Criterion Races" that I miss from that Belgium neighborhood.

It would not have to be on Labor Day. It could be on any summer weekend.
Best to compete with as few other community events as possible.
Maybe even BEFORE SUMMER BEGINS... to get everyone ready...

Or the week before the Bix as a local preview?

Moline Museum of ART! Moline has the WONDERFUL DEERE MUSEUM, AND
MARK Facilities that have really transformed the waterfront. AND DAVENPORT now has the AWESOME FICKE ART MUSEUM... BUT, WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT TO HAVE AN ART MUSEUM IN MOLINE?
This would not compete with the DAVENPORT ART MUSEUM BUT COMPLIMENT.

1) PAUL NORTON or his estate could certainly possibly make several prominent artworks available?

2) MICHAEL BLASER, the Marine Artist is also a native of Moline. He could certainly make some of his works available perhaps?

3) John Deere/ Hauberg Collections!

Years ago, the Deere Headquarters was open to the Public for tours and I have personally seen several highly impressive works on display in the Deere/Hauberg
Collection. Certainly the Haugergs and John Deere Corp. could possibly loan some of these works on a rotating basis for a Moline Art Museum?

4) Augustanna College / Centennial Hall?

Augustanna College has its own gallery museum. They have many impressive works including works from Whistler, or they have displayed such works.
This gallery although substantial, is somewhat modest and unopen to the public
being in the basement of Centennial Hall?
Certainly perhaps they could LOAN some of their collection on a rotating basis to be displayed in a more prominent and accessible Moline Public Art Museum?

5) Who knows how many past and present residents have valuable and original art to donate or loan for display?

6) Blackhawk College?

I don't know what art they have if any... but I bet they have some acquisitions somewhere that they could loan to a Moline Museum?
What do you think? Do any or all have merit? Which one do you think is the best idea? Would they be able to be accomplished?


At 12/21/2005 3:26 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I think they're all great ideas, and I'm happy to see people are still thinking positive and creative, instead of just negative and against, like many Davenport blog commenters.

THe fountain thing is already sort of planned as part of Davenport and Rock Island's RiverVision plan, although it won't be the largest in the world.

At 12/21/2005 6:31 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'd never heard of any proposal for a Mississippi river fountain, though that certainly is no surprise. The fountain idea is the one which captures my interest the most by far... especially if they can "super-size" it.

And really, unless it's quite enormous, it would tend to seem puny and insignificant.

The scale needs to be gigantic for it to be a true attraction.

Ignoring the difficulties in trying to create a bi-state authority to organize the project, and finding the money for the moment, I think it's a mega-cool idea.

I'd love to see an enormous lighted fountain out in the river. I'm not aware of any other river community that has anything like it, and it would certainly make a great signature image for the area.

Maybe the pumps might suck up a stray fish now and then and people could watch for 100 lb carp or catfish or perhaps a stray spoonbill flying through the air? Fisherman could just hang around the periphery of the fountain with large nets and catch fish in a totally novel way.

Or not.

At 12/21/2005 7:20 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said... -July12.pdf

If anyone's seen the water jet on the Chicago in downtown Chicago, I think they're supposed to be kind of like those.

At 12/21/2005 7:23 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Can I assume you mean some sort of water jet on the Chicago river?

At 12/21/2005 7:31 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I assume you mean some sort of water jet on the Chicago river?

Thanks for that picture. Those look pretty cool, and are about as bare bones as you can get as far as a fountain goes.

I'd like to see something a bit more elaborate, with perhaps jets that move, pulse, etc. like some of the more captivating fountains such as the Buckingham in Chicago. I'm sure there's hydrolic engineers out there just chomping at the bit to design something truly spectacular along these lines.

Of course, inititial cost, environmental impact, and maintenance costs, among other considerations would necessarily figure into such a plan, but I personally hope they go bigger, and better.

We need something very cool and practically useless around here. It's value as a signature "watermark", (as opposed to a landmark) would be likely worth the cost.

At 12/21/2005 9:14 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Yeah... I meant "on the Chicago River." Or over it, really. I believe its called Centennial Fountain.

At 12/22/2005 11:26 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I was just struck by an idea... always a perilous thing. Since it is necessary to maintain a clear channel for commercial vessels in the river, why not have several fountains in opposing ranks which would spray water to create a sort of arch through which the barges could pass?

And as a way to generate funds for the maintenence of the fountains, for a fee, the water jets could be lowered a little and create the world's first drive-thru "barge wash".

Well? I didn't say it was a GOOD idea... just an idea.

(but think of the publicity if it actually happened.)

At 12/23/2005 7:03 PM, Anonymous jcb said...

Uhhh ...don't know we'd be wanting to wash anything off some of the barges that pass through.

Put something really big to Davenport, say, next to the boat. Gotta be a combo that would work there.

Seriously though, the fountain thing is a good idea. Between R.I./Davenport seems natural somehow, but there's lots of other places, too.

At 2/23/2006 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The World's tallest fountain, the Gateway Geyser, is actually in East Saint Louis.
Here's a link:

Actually in the RiverVision report made between Rock Island and Davenport. Here's a quote from the report from pg 13,
"River Fountains:
The consensus strategy proposes a series of massive
fountains positioned in the river along the axis created
between the two main street piers. The fountains would
celebrate and draw attention to the river itself and would
serve as signifi cant pieces of civic art. The spray from
the fountains would be visible from a distance, drawing
residents and visitors down to the river’s edge. The
fountains would be located north of the navigation channel
so as to not interfere with boat traffic. Passengers on the
water taxi would be able to get close to the fountains as
they traveled back and forth from Davenport and Rock
The design team has made initial contact with the US Army
Corps of Engineers regarding the feasibility of the fountains
and received positive feedback. The USACE noted that
the primary constraint would be avoiding the navigation
channel and coordinating to ensure that the casino boat
can still make excursions as necessary. (This is no longer
required by the new gambling bill passed on May 6, 2004.)
The cities would have to go through a permitting process
with the USACE, which encouraged continued coordination
as the concept evolves, preceding the actual permitting


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