Paunchy grizzly bear cubs crouch in Berkeley's Marin Circle Fountain, designed in 1911.
The sights and sounds—and often the soothing feel—of tumbling and spraying water have lifted the spirits of VIA's readers around the West.
BELLAGIO HOTEL'S DANCING WATERS Las Vegas. "Go see these choreographed 'water nymphs' at night," advises Annie Markichevich of Henderson, Nev. "They are truly a fantasy of light, music, and water, with all the grace and beauty of a great ballet."
BUTLER-PEROZZI FOUNTAIN Ashland, Ore. "A piece of Italy flourishes in Lithia Park," notes Ashland resident Julia Sommer regarding this marble masterpiece that was originally imported from Florence for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. "Water spurts from tritons, sea serpents, and Cupid riding a swan."
GATEWAY PLAZA FOUNTAIN Salt Lake City. "Water shoots from beneath your feet in the pattern of Salt Lake's Olympic snow flake, accompanied by music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir," writes Ellen Wixom of Kaysville, Utah. "Children of all ages cavort among the jets."
IRA KELLER FOUNTAIN Portland. "Its cascades capture the essence of the Pacific Northwest's waterfalls, " writes Jean Wu of Sacramento. "Children especially delight in the pools above the cataracts."
LEVI'S PLAZA FOUNTAIN San Francisco. "I love the look of the large, rough boulders next to the sleek office buildings," says Jeannette Wong of Oakland. "On a glorious blue-sky day, there is nothing more beautiful than the sparkling pools here. You can walk on many of the stones and even enjoy lunch while sitting amidst the rushing water."
MARIN CIRCLE FOUNTAIN Berkeley, Calif. "My little girl and I drive past it on our way up to Tilden Park so we can wave hello to its whimsical, round-bellied 'Buddha bears,' " says Susie Zarren of San Rafael, Calif.
PLAZA DE CESAR CHAVEZ FOUNTAIN San Jose. "Beautiful and accessible," writes Ron Gonzales, the city's 63rd mayor. "It is perfect for kids to get soaked in on hot summer days or for business folks hoping to catch a cooling spray as they walk between meetings."
SALMON STREET SPRINGS FOUNTAIN Portland. "Sometimes there are thick fountains in the middle, sometimes there are fountains with lots of pressure that arch toward the center," reports 8-year-old Gabriel Bellavita of Cottage Grove, Ore. "I like putting my hands and feet on them and making them spray in all directions."
WATER INTAKE FOUNTAIN Sacramento. "A secret jewel," says Sacramento's Jodi Samuels of her find along the American River bike trail near Discovery Park. "The water streams seem random, shooting up several feet, then bursting up in jets and drops that chase each other and sparkle in the air. Fabulous!"
Photography by Mike Mullen
This article was first published in May 2005. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.