The James Scott Memorial Fountain is located on the western end of the island. In 1915, the western end of the island was expanded by 200 acres of fill from downtown Detroit building sites to provide a location for the fountain and lagoon. Herbert Adams was the sculptor and Cass Gilbert the architect. It was completed in 1923 and dedicated on May 31, 1925. The fountain’s circumference is 510 ft., and a series of impressive Vermont White Marble bowls are topped with a receptacle from which water is projected 40 feet into the air.


The fountain features 109 water outlets in the shape of lions, turtles, Neptune figures and artistic horns and 16 bas-relief panels depict early Detroit life.  Basin was originally inlaid with Pewabic tiles surrounding the rim with individual tiles throughout the basin. The tile was destroyed in the early 2000s, and the Conservancy is raising funds to restore the Pewabic tile mosaic. 


James Scott, the fountain's namesake, is featured in a bronze statue on a marble pedestal, by sculptor Herbert Adams.  Scott is seated in a chair looking over the Scott Fountain facing the city. James Scott (1836-1910) was a Detroit real estate speculator and developer and devoted his fortune to the erection of a fountain on Belle Isle demanding that a life-size statue of himself be included.  Legend has it that James Scott was a scoundrel of his day, and the statue of himself that he demanded was strategically placed so that the spray of the fountain would hit him in the face.



Runs 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

June 11 - Sept. 20., except for in inclement weather



Sunset Drive & Fountain Drive

Detroit, MI 48207



Free for the public to view; Fees for event and photo shoot bookings. 



Michigan Department of Natural Resources 




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Belle Isle Conservancy  | 300 River Place Drive, Suite 2800, Detroit, MI 48207  | 313.331.7760  | info@belleisleconservancy.org