This is definitely an over-achiever

Note from 2020: This post is a little snarky and I don’t make fun of stranger’s home decor anymore, but I had to leave this post in the archives because I had NO memory of this fountain until recently when E reminded me that we drove by it and said, “JESUS FOUNTAIN!” every time. When I found this picture for the entry I was like, “HOW DO I NOT REMEMBER THIS?”

There’s a house we pass a few times a week on our way to Super Target or the bookstore. Awhile back we noticed there was some sort of odd construction going on right in their front yard. As the weeks went by, we started thinking it was going to be a marble tower. But then one night we drove by and there were spotlights shining on it and we saw what we have since called, “The Jesus Fountain.” There is a tall fountain with mosaic marble/glass type tile with a shape of a cross designed on the fountain. The same mosaic pattern builds a wall around the yard and the driveway. It is quite an impressive piece of yard decoration, that’s for sure.

The artistic quality of this structure demands respect. It looks like it took a lot of time and a lot of skill. HOWEVER – isn’t it a strange thing to see in someone’s yard? Wouldn’t that be better suited for a church? I mean – at night there are SEVERAL spotlights shining on the fountain. The spotlights actually light up the entire yard and there’s even a wooden walkway around the fountain. It’s definitely not what you would call “simple”. Now – I come from a long line of catholics and we are very big on the religious monuments – but this even seems much for me.

And my question is – would you pay more or less than normal for a house with that in the yard? I mean – it’s definitely a high-quality piece, but wouldn’t you consider it a negative on the house? Or is that just me and my hell-bound soul talking? I keep thinking that if it didn’t have the cross in it (which is more obvious at night with the spotlights), and if it were in the back yard, it might be considered a positive quality. But a religious structure on the front lawn? Not so much.

Or what if you lived next door? How would you feel watching this transpire? Would you be peeking out the window constantly trying to guess what it was going to be as it was being built? And would it cause you to question your own property value?

But most importantly – what do you think the inside of the house looks like?

14 thoughts on “This is definitely an over-achiever”

  1. I consider myself a pretty conservative Christian and I just don’t know..I think its all well and good to put up a cross or whatever. BUT can we at the LEAST make it match the house?? Could the marble/tile be anymore out of place with that style of house? I think they just devalued their home on that alone. At the least do the pillars ect out of the same brick as the house and then do just the cross in the marble/tile stuff. That is just tacky and someone was not thinking!

  2. ah, alabama. my sister is in birmingham, and sends me pics like this from time to time… this is absolutely something you would NOT see up here in connecticut, we just don’t do it like that…

    not so much, indeed.

  3. Yeah, I think you’ve got two problems here. One, that sort of thing is not to everyone’s taste and could definitely make it harder to sell the house. Two, it doesn’t match the house or blend in with its surroundings, making it something of an eyesore.

  4. Hi Zoot,

    Pretty fountain, but not something I would want in my front yard.

    But on a different subject, I’ve been reading your website for almost a year now and more than once you’ve had me giggling here at my desk. But I need your help on something serious. My 23 year old son is heading out to the Birmington Alabama area at the end of the month. I’m in California and I have a few questions about the area he is visiting. If you wouldn’t mind me emailing you with these questions since you are the only person I know in that part of our country, would great appreciate it.
    Thanks Zoot!
    Cecelia – the overly concerned and protective mother!

  5. There’s a guy who lives here in Memphis that built a 15 foot tall statue of Buddha in his front yard. It’s made out of concrete. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.
    His neighbors were pissed but none of them had enough money for an attorney so they just let it be.
    (I tried to find a pic but couldn’t)
    And there’s a church here in town that erected (HA!) a replica of the Statue of Liberty minus the torch. She’s holding a cross instead. It cost them $250K.

  6. This reminded me of a house in the town in grew up in. This house looked normal for most of the year, but come Christmas time, it was covered with huge amounts of religious decorations – at least THREE nativity scenes, giant light up crosses, and (my personal favorite) “Happy Birthday Jesus” in flashing lights across the entire roof.

    One summer we noticed that the house next door was for sale. We decided that the homeowners deliberately put their house up for sale in the summer so that the gaudy winter spectacle next door wouldn’t decrease the value of the house. I wonder what the new owners thought their first Christmas there!

  7. hahahahaha

    First, I love that you were too shy to show that you were taking a picture. I love being rude and taking open pics. It’s like saying “I take your Obnoxious and raise you another Obnoxious”.

    Second, Bah – I agree with a previous commenter that the structure doesn’t even MATCH THEIR HOUSE. I think a structure like that could potentially decrease the value of the house because you have narrowed your market of buyers.

  8. it decreases the value in my eyes….if they ever move out? and i was buying it? they better have built it in a way that it easily comes out and they can take with them or to expect for a lower amount than they wanted for the house and my ass would be out there with a sledgehammer.

    I am going to H-E-double hockey sticks.

  9. I think it definitely lowers the value. First, it’s subjective art. You know, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’? They may love it but not everyone will share their opinion.

    Secondly, not everyone shares their religious beliefs. Who’s to say that if they were to put their house on the market that a Jewish family took an interest? Or a Muslim family? Or any other religion that doesn’t either believe in Jesus or that Jesus died on a cross?? They have narrowed their prospects to such a small margin that resale may be near impossible w/out them getting rid of it or lowering their prices.

    Yard art is one thing but religion puts it into a completely different category.

  10. I say yuk. I live in Birmingham were someone has put Jesus in a box. It is a clear glass box with Jesus in it. It freaks the neighbors out. Not that they don’t believe in Jesus. They just don’t believe in Jesus in a box in your front yard. I don’t think I would want to live next door to that either.

  11. We actually attended a garden party “in celebration of the installation of our new fountain” last weekend. I’m not even kidding. They had a party. To celebrate a fountain. It was a big ass fountain . . . and it was in their front yard.

  12. This is why it’s sometimes nice to live in a community with “deed restrictions”. You could definitely stop someone from doing something like that. It’s not about the religious symbols for me. It’s about the fact that it looks like crap and it’s the front yard!! I do think it would have an impact on the resale of the neighboring houses.

  13. Many years ago our neighbor down the street erected a giant wooden cross in his front yard. In 2004, he murdered his wife because apparently murder is easier in the eyes of God than divorce. He’d been having an affair while telling his wife he was at Bible study.

    So Zoot, indeed the inside of the house in your area may be stranger even than the outside.

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