Got a question today about the fountain in Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon and was asked about whether it came from the Chicago World’s fair of 1934…
This idea has been floating around for awhile and appears in many write ups about the park, but it seemed far fetched. Why would we drag a big chunk of concrete across the country for the City’s Jubilee in 1936 instead of building it here?
The August 8, 1936 Vancouver Sun carried a story called ‘Secrets of the Fountain’. In there it talks about Robert Harold Williams, Chief Electrical Engineer with the Vancouver firm of Hume and Rumble Ltd. who conceived, designed and supervised the construction of the fountain. It took the draining of the lagoon and the setting of 70 some-odd piles into the lake’s bottom to get the fountain built.
The designKULTUR blog has a great post from 2010 about the fountain and in the comments section R.H. Williams’ grandson Glen added that “my grandfather was acknowledged for all the work [he had done] at a party at the Hotel Vancouver.” and that “when they turned [the fountain] on for the first time, HE was inside operating it manually.”
Sometimes the real story is just way more fascinating.