Antique Dolphin Fountain in Houston’s Lamar Park

Updated on March 22, 2020
Peggy W profile image

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

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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 | Source

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 | Source

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.

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Antique dolphin fountain in need of repairAntique dolphin fountain in need of repairAntique dolphin fountain in need of repairAntique dolphin fountain
Antique dolphin fountain in need of repair
Antique dolphin fountain in need of repair | Source
Antique dolphin fountain in need of repair
Antique dolphin fountain in need of repair | Source
Antique dolphin fountain in need of repair
Antique dolphin fountain in need of repair | Source
Antique dolphin fountain
Antique dolphin fountain | Source

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 | Source

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 | Source

Did you know the history regarding Mirabeau B. Lamar?

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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

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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 profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 months ago from USA

      “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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Liz,

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

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 months ago from UK

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Donna,

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

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Manatita,

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

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bushra,

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

    • Donna-Rayne profile image

      Donna Rayne 

      3 months ago from Greenwood, In

      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 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 months ago from london

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

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      3 months ago from Sunny Florida

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

    • Bushra Iqbal profile image

      Anya Ali 

      3 months ago from Rabwah, Pakistan

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Shambhavi and Bill,

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

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      3 months ago

      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.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      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 profile image

      Shambhavi Maurya 

      3 months ago from Chandigarh

      Wow !

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