Mermaids are water-loving creatures, so it should come as no surprise that many of Norfolk's sirens were placed in or near fountains. They got to watch people eat lunch, take breaks, and jog by. They even cheered a international bike race.
The first fountain to fill with mermaids was the Bank of america Plaza, thanks to urging of Mark Warlick, senior vice president of S.L. Nusbaum Realty who encouraged "other tenants within the complex to join us in adopting a mermaid with the intent of placing all of our mermaids in the reflecting pool . . . This concentrated collection of individually decorated mermaids will be a visitor showplace in downtown Norfolk."
Mermaids sometimes required maintenance along with the fountain. When rust appeared in Commercial Place Fountain and the fountain in front of the Sheraton hotel, City and contract crews cleaned up the fountain and the maids - while artists came back to do some touch up on the mermaids.