White's Only Fountain Needs Approval for Artistic Upgrade

Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013  |  Updated 8:08 PM CDT
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Historic Dallas Water Fountain Gets New Look

NBC 5 News

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Historic Dallas Water Fountain Gets New Look

Dallas County Commissioners got a briefing Tuesday on how a water fountain inside the records building will look, the fountain was intended for "whites only" during a time the south was segregated.
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After some discussion Tuesday, the Dallas County Commissioners Court  tabled a vote on funding for a technological addition to the historic "White's Only" water fountain at the County Records building.

The sign above the water fountain has been left in place as a reminder of the segregation era.  A plaque added above the fountain serves as a reminder.

Now, a local artist will add a video monitor to the fountain that will play clips and images from the segregation era, including civil rights marches, anytime someone uses the fountain -- teaching history through technology.

The content will not focus on Dallas solely, but will include footage from civil rights movements across the United States.

The improvement is expected to cost more than $45,000, more than $30,000 of which has been raised by the artist, Lauren Woods, DallasNews.com reports.

County Commissioner John Wiley Price has offered $15,000 out of his district's road bridge budget to help cover the remaining cost.

Price believes it's worth the money to remind people of the history.

"As we approach the anniversary of the JFK, commemoration of the JFK deal, we think this is an appropriate commemoration for Dallas," Price said. "If you don’t know your history, you’ll be doomed to repeat it."

If county commissioners approve the funding in time, which is expected to happen next week, the project could be completed by late October -- just in time for the city's observance of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

NBC 5's Ray Villeda contributed to this report.

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