Wortham Fountain in Houston

Photo of Wortham Fountain in Houston, Texas
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
Photo of Wortham Fountain in Houston, Texas
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz

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Wortham Fountain
Official name:Gus S. Wortham Memorial Fountain
Also known as:The Dandelion Fountain

Allen Parkway at Waugh, Houston, Texas, Montrose 77019
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A favorite spot for joggers, dog walkers, and passersby to cool down in the Houston heat, the Wortham Fountain isn't merely ornamental -- it is functional. Water from the fountain is pushed through a starburst of bronze pipes. At the end of each pipe is a nozzle that causes the spray to radiate outward in a circular plane. The effect is of a floating sphere of water. Though it is visually stunning, it is difficult to manage the water. With even a slight breeze, mist drifts outside the confines of the pool, dampening the sidewalk, but also spritzing sweaty joggers who look forward to that part of their run. It was while on a trip to Australia that Houston philanthropist Gus Wortham saw a similar fountain. He decided that Houston needed one, too. According to urban legend, he sought out the designers of the Australian fountain, and found out that it was Houston-based Brown and Root. We have been unable to confirm that. Either way, Houston got one and it has been enjoyed by people for decades.

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