The estate of Lotta Crabtree (one of the most famous actresses of the late 19th and early 20th centuries) endowed this fountain in 1939 as a watering hole for dogs, horses, and a resting place for humans. It was originally located just south of the Hatch Shell on the Boston Esplanade, but was relocated to its current location during the construction of Storrow Drive in 1950. The fountain was designed by Boston artist Katherine Lane Weems, a renowned animal sculptor and alumna of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. The restoration project restored the operability of the fountain as a drinking basin for dogs, while addressing water conservation issues by limiting water use via a timed push button and reduced volume in the bowl. The horse fountains were covered with bronze caps; the broken cat’s mouth spigot and the ear of the dog capping the monument were both restored. The entire platform was made ADA accessible, as was the operation of the fountain. All stone was cleaned, repaired, and repointed; plantings surrounding the fountain were also improved. This project won a Charles Bulfinch award in 2019, and a Gold PRISM award in 2018.
Photos by the Esplanade Association and the Architect