Antique Dolphin Fountain in Houston’s Lamar Park
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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, skips and a jump (less than 3 miles) from downtown Houston. It is so small that it is called a pocket park.
The antique dolphin fountain is located there at the corner of Hyde Park and Waugh. The address is 1400 Hyde Park Blvd., Houston, Texas 77006. It was built in the year 1946.
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.
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 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.
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.
The original photos were taken 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 would be a nice contrast to the white of the fountain.
Yesterday 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, but others did not yet 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.
Lamar Park was named after the 2nd President of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar. He at one time owned this land in the 1840s decade. 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 was immediately 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 2nd 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.
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.