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South Main Plaza

South Main Plaza

Downtown Mount Vernon is in a state of renaissance with new cultural venues, restaurants, and businesses. By reimagining the Buchwald Plaza, Mount Vernon Nazarene University is proud to invite the community and guests to enjoy South Main Plaza — a fresh new gathering space that brings vitality and whimsy to the Downtown Historic District.

The Fountain

The focal point of South Main Plaza is an inviting, fun fountain, inspired by world-renowned landscape architect Claude Cormier’s fountain in Toronto’s Berczy Park. The idea behind the fountain came after Gambier resident Phil Samuell saw photos of the Toronto fountain on the Internet. Samuell and his wife, Mary, along with their golden retriever, Sandy, eventually met Cormier and visited the park.

The fountain features painted cast aluminum sculptures of 18 dogs, one cat, two pairs of birds, a pony and an apple.

South Main Plaza on Spectrum News

The Sculptures

  1. Saint Bernard
  2. American Shorthair Cat
  3. Bernese Mountain Dog
  4. Canadian Warblers
  5. Giant Schnauzer
  6. Drinking Fountain
  7. Bull Terrier
  8. Shetland Pony
  9. Cortland Apple
  10. German Shepherd
  11. Golden Retriever
  12. Dalmatian Puppy
  13. West Highland Terrior
  14. Scottish Terrier
  15. Jack Russell Terrier
  16. Bernese Mountain Puppy
  17. Saint Bernard Puppy
  18. Pug Male
  19. Fox Terrier
  20. Great Dane Puppy
  21. Golden Retriever Puppy
  22. Pug Female
  23. Beagle
  24. Eastern Bluebirds

The Finished Fountain

You can now enjoy the full finished fountain at South Main Plaza.


The revitalization of South Main Plaza has been funded through a grant from The Ariel Foundation. Generous community sponsorships add to an endowment at the Knox County Foundation to cover future maintenance of the Plaza. The first $125,000 in donations to the endowment will be matched dollar-for-dollar. Those with a desire to memorialize and celebrate a loved one may do so by contributing to this special endowment to maintain the fountain and plaza for future generations. For more information, call 740-392-3270 or email

We would like to thank the following donors:


The Ariel Foundation
In memory of Philip Douglas Buchwald


Karen and Tom
Bernese Mountain Dog (Zippy)

Dr. Henry and Sharon Spaulding
Giant Schnauzer (Toby)

Mary and Phil Samuell
Drinking Fountain

Evie, Lark, Annabelle, & Sloane
Shetland Pony (Olaf)

Trudy Debolts's MVMS 2019–2020 6th
Grade Class

German Shepherd (Prince)

Mark and Denise Ramser
Golden Retriever (Ginger)
Golden Retriever Puppy (Sandy)

The Dubbe Family
West Highland Terrier (Monte)Maureen and Jim Buchwald
Scottish Terrier (Jessie)


Deborah Massa
Beagle (Earl)Jen and Marc Odenweller
American Shorthair Cat (Bob the Cat)


Fred and Sallie Hall
Bernese Mountain Puppy (Holly)


Phil Herald
Scott and Heidi Craigo
Kathi and Bill Schonauer
First–Knox National Bank
Carl and Cheri Bagent
Jeff and Eydie Glasstetter
Andrew and Debbie Fierst
Sandra Fithian


Robert and Cornelia Hallinan
Barry and Brenta George
Burt and Lois Hanson
Deborah Massa


Bruce and Kathy White
Colleen and Greg Garland
In Honor of Dr. Clyde L. Purdy, DVM


Amy Murnen


Did you know that sponsorship and naming rights are still available for some of our animals? You can leave a lasting legacy in the heart of our downtown by adopting one of our playful dogs or graceful birds. Contact and we will explain the options and what your contribution will secure for the future of the plaza.

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