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Antique Dolphin Fountain in Houston’s Lamar Park

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

antique-dolphin-fountain-in-houstons-lamar-park

Old Neighborhood Houston Pocket Park

Lamar Park is a tiny half-acre park located in west-central Houston. It is a hop, skip and a jump (less than 3 miles) from downtown Houston. It is so small that it is called a pocket park.

Located there at the corner of Hyde Park and Waugh is the antique dolphin fountain built in the year 1946. Its address is 1400 Hyde Park Blvd., Houston, Texas 77006.

This park is in a portion of the old Hyde Park neighborhood first established in 1893. It was annexed to the City of Houston, dating back to 1906.

Photo of a portion of the antique dolphin fountain

Photo of a portion of the antique dolphin fountain

Neighborhood of Hyde Park

Hyde Park has one of the oldest civic associations in Houston. Stringent deed restrictions are now in place since the 1990s to help this area retain some of its charms. It is primarily a residential neighborhood, and no new businesses are permitted.

The many old trees are valued, and restrictions are in place to avoid having any healthy trees of a specific size cut down.

Lamar park photo in winter

Lamar park photo in winter

Lamar Park

Lamar Park is nothing more than a wide esplanade. The park has some lovely large live oak trees and other landscaping. It also has a paved walkway, some benches, and at one end on a tiny island of land surrounded by streets is the antique dolphin fountain.

Restoration of the Antique Fountain

The fountain is currently slated for restoration after a successful fundraising project that is now underway. It is one of Houston’s oldest fountains still in operation, even if not performing at 100% efficiency.

This lovely green space is a nice respite in an urban area that is quite congested.

I took the first set of photos on February 16th. The crape myrtles that surround the dolphin fountain were in a dormant stage. During the summertime, those splashes of color with the crape myrtles in bloom are a nice contrast to the white of the fountain.

During the latter part of May, I took more photos with the crape myrtles leafed out. The restoration signs were gone.

Water was spewing out of some of the fishes’ mouths into the fountain. Yet others did not seem to be working. This is still a work in progress regarding the restoration of this old fountain.

Extensive landscaping plans with brick pavers and lighting are all a part of what they wish to accomplish along with the fountain repairs. From what I have read, $150,000 is needed to repair the fountain fully, and thus far, they have raised $25,000 through tax-deductible donations.

The fountain is pretty even in its present state and is an excellent addition to this neighborhood.

Antique dolphin fountain in Lamar Park

Antique dolphin fountain in Lamar Park

Mirabeau B. Lamar

Lamar Park was named after the second President of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar. He, at one time, owned this land in the 1840s. He did some farming on this land.

Mirabeau B. Lamar distinguished himself in the Battle of San Jacinto. Due to his bravery in fighting, he immediately was made a colonel and commander of his unit of cavalry.

Sam Houston was the first President of the Republic of Texas, and Lamar became his vice-president. Lamar was then the elected second president of the Republic of Texas.

Mirabeau B. Lamar was mainly known for his promotion of education. He set aside lands in each county of Texas for the construction of public schools. Many schools across the state, from elementary to high schools, bear his name. Lamar University in Beaumont also bears his name. The University of Texas and Texas A & M University are both on lands set aside for school development stemming from his term in office.

Lamar Park photo in May

Lamar Park photo in May

antique-dolphin-fountain-in-houstons-lamar-park

Historical Significance

Hopefully, this unique antique dolphin fountain will soon be repaired and will continue operating long into the future. It certainly is of historical interest to this part of our city. This site should be even more beautiful in the years ahead.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirabeau_B._Lamar

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyde_Park,_Montrose,_Houston

https://houstonparksboard.org/about/lamar-park

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_park

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 15, 2020:

Hi Dale,

We know several people who have backyard fountains. They are lovely. Your wife is probably thinking of conserving water in Arizona. I guess that might be factoring into her decision? There is a lot of xeriscaping done in that state.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on September 15, 2020:

Like the fountain, Peggy! I've tried to convince the wife to put one in our house in Arizona but she's holding firm on her stand of "No way!" I'll keep trying though.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 08, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

Most of us will not be remembered for 100 or more years, but there are exceptions. Barring catastrophes, parks, sculptures such as Mount Rushmore, the Lincoln Memorial, etc. will have people learning about noted people long into the future. Some of them may be remembered for the good they accomplished, and others, for different reasons.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 06, 2020:

“Pocket park” is a cute description and I wish there were more of them around. I hadn’t heard of Lamar but this park is a good way to memorialize him. They say that 100 years after we are gone no one will remember us. But then there is this park.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 26, 2020:

Hi Liz,

Yes, fundraising for a cause like this, and others similar to this, will surely be set back now for obvious reasons.

Liz Westwood from UK on March 26, 2020:

What a lovely fountain and an interesting article. I hope that the money can be raised to repair it, though I fear that it will be set back a little by the current pandemic.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 23, 2020:

Hi Donna,

Blessings to you also! So glad that you liked the appearance of this little park with the antique fountain.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 23, 2020:

Hi Manatita,

While the fountain is not fully functional, it is still pretty. I appreciate your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 23, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

We have many so-called pocket parks in the Houston area. I think that it is a nice concept when land pricing is at a premium.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 23, 2020:

Hi Bushra,

That is an astounding difference in monies needed to do things in this country verses where you live.

Donna Rayne from Greenwood, In on March 23, 2020:

Hi, Peggy. What a lovely article. I learned a lot and that small little park looks like a perfect place to sit and write. Thanks for a great field trip!

Blessings,

Donna Rayne

manatita44 from london on March 23, 2020:

Green, antique and beautiful! Lovely road beneath overhanging trees. Shame the fountain is not functional. But yes, you have mentioned the restoration.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 23, 2020:

The term 'pocket park' is new to me. This looks like a small beautiful park and I do hope they repair the fountain, Peggy.

Anya Ali from Rabwah, Pakistan on March 23, 2020:

Very beautiful place, but I was amazed to read that it would take 150,000 USD to repair that fountain. That is a very large sum of money - in Pakistan, it could cover the cost of 60 water wells or 237 heart operations.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 23, 2020:

Hi Lorna,

This dolphin fountain adds a certain charm to the area. With the efforts to preserve it, the fountain will hopefully be there for many more years.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 23, 2020:

Hi Shambhavi and Bill,

I appreciate the comments on this antique fountain. It has a certain beauty born of earlier times.

Lorna Lamon on March 23, 2020:

Another beautiful park and I wasn't aware of the history so this was a very interesting read. I hope the fountain is repaired as it's such a beautiful feature. and it's reassuring to know that many of the old trees are being preserved for future generations to enjoy. A really enjoyable read Peggy in these not so enjoyable times. Keep safe.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 23, 2020:

An oldie but a goodie, as we used to say about Classic Rock. I hope they keep it restored so generations can appreciate it.

Shambhavi Maurya from Chandigarh on March 23, 2020:

Wow !