Memorials: Giving a Geyser

Some men bid for immortality with a simple statue or park bench that bears their name, or by endowing a university chair or a foundation. Not George T. Delacorte. The 76-year-old founder of the Dell Publishing Co. seeks to perpetuate his memory in a more spectacular way: through a series of monuments, each splashier than the last. The splashiest to date is the Delacorte Geyser at the tip of Manhattan's Welfare Island, which was tested last week for the first time.

Its cost—$350,000—was high. But then so is the fountain, which is designed to shoot a steady stream of water 600...

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