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USC's 'Finger Fountain' Is No More

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
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I went to USC as an English major. Which meant that half of my classes were in Mark Taper Hall. Which also meant that, on my way to English Literature of the Victorian Age or whatever, I'd pass by the fountain on Gavin Herbert Plaza on an almost-daily basis. Also, I'd stepped into its waters during my senior year "fountain run." You might say I have a history with the fountain (or not).It is with sadness for me to say, then, that the fountain is no more. As reported by The Daily Trojan, the fountain has been demolished to make way for renovations at Gavin Herbert Plaza.

The fountain is colloquially known as the "Finger Fountain" because it looks like a Cubist's rendition of, well, a hand flipping the bird. Folklore has it that the gesture is directed at UCLA. This urban legend was so well-known, in fact, that USC made note of it in Fountains and Flourishes, a 2010 university publication.

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Students have impishly dubbed this cubist landmark the "Finger Fountain" because it evokes a well-known, if disparaging, hand gesture. Campus lore holds that it is directed toward a certain rival institution in Westwood, but the massive concrete sculpture, located at the north end of Trousdale Parkway in Galvin Herbert Plaza, actually points north.

The publication also notes that architectural firm Flewelling and Moody were behind the design. The firm, according to its website, is also responsible for the USC's Seeley W. Mudd Memorial Hall of Philosophy, Caltech's Millikan Memorial Library, and the Beverly Hills Post Office.

So long, Finger Fountain. May something even bigger and more obscene take your place.

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