Public Fountains in Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills is never penalized for using excessive amounts of water and not meeting water-saving goals… That is why Beverly Hills is always so luscious and green. The beautiful landscapes and grounds. These are Beverly Hill’s public fountains.
Beverly Gardens Park Electric Fountain
The most famous fountain in Beverly Hills is the electric fountain at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Gardens Park. It is listed as #20 on the city’s Register of historic properties. The fountain is the demarcation point between Westwood, Century City, and Beverly Hills. The fountain was dedicated in 1931 and is rumored to have stopped moving traffic for hours when it opened. The original cost of the fountain was $22,000.
In recent times, the Fountain gets less attention with major changes to the built landscape like the Waldorf Historia Hotel caddy-corner and the recently remodeled CAA building by IM Pei (Although it hardly reminds me of his other works, see Century Towers in Century City for a better Los Angeles example). The Fountain is a towering 6 feet tall and was designed by Robert Merrell Gage (Figure) and Ralph Carlin Flewelling (Base). The fountain prominently features a native Tongva Indian kneeling in prayer. Before Beverly Hills was Beverly Hills- the land was part of the Rancho Rodeo De Las Aquas (Translated roughly to mean “coming together of waters”). In the early history of Beverly Hills long before Rodeo Drive and Multimillion-dollar mansions, there were underground artesian streams flowing from both Coldwater Canyon and Benedict Canyon (intersecting Right at the present-day location of the Beverly Hills Hotel) which is where the inspiration for the Rancho name originated. To me, the fountain is symbolic of Beverly Hills’ early history.
The fountain was designed by Wilbur Cook. A lot of people may wonder why I think landscape architects are so important when you consider the history of Beverly Hills. If you see the design of the city from the air, you will quickly realize that the great urban planning of the city is what makes it such a desirable place to live today. The fountain recently underwent a major overhaul led by landscape architect Mia Lehrer, to usher it into the next 100 years. Make sure to check it out both during the day and at night, as the fountain has two very distinct personalities depending on the time of day!
The Fountain at Will Rogers Memorial Park
Will Rogers Park is named after the first mayor of Beverly Hills Will Rogers. Will Rogers the person is also responsible for the Polo Fields in the Pacific Palisades, and the Bridal Path. He was an avid horseback rider among many other talents. Fun Fact, the park originally belonged to the Beverly Hills Hotel, before Margaret Anderson donated it to the city in 1915. The Park is seldom visited so it is a great place to go to for some peace and quiet. The Beverly Hills Hotel is just across the street, so you can stop over there for lunch at the Polo Lounge, and don’t miss their gift shop which is really great! There is a large fountain at Will Rogers Memorial right smack dab in the center that has lilypads and turtles! Opened in 1915- another fun fact- it was the first municipal park in Beverly Hills, at that time called Sunset Park. In 1952 the park was renamed to Will Rogers Memorial Park.
The Scallop Fountain at Via Rodeo
Throw a quarter in the wishing well? Via Rodeo is the newest section of Rodeo Drive, built-in 1990, the European inspired facades and winding cobblestone paved street meanders from the corner of Rodeo Dr and Dayton to Wilshire Blvd. This diamond-encrusted street has a remarkable stairway with a scallop fountain which is a popular tourist spot to snap a selfie. The steps were said to be inspired by the Spanish Steps in Rome Italy. This is one of the top shopping destinations in the entire US so don’t forget to bring your checkbook!