Civic Art

Gus Wortham Fountain

Gus Wortham Fountain 

  • Number: 0013
  • Artist: William Cannady (architect)
  • Title: Gus S. Wortham Memorial Fountain
  • Date: 1978
  • Type: Fountain
  • Medium: Bronze coated with lacquer
  • Location/Environment: Buffalo Bayou Park (Allen Parkway near Waugh)
  • Provenance: Donated to the City of Houston by the Wortham Foundation and American General Life Insurance

Historical Background
The Wortham's were inspired to commission the Gus S. Wortham Memorial Fountain after seeing a similar fountain in Australia. The fountain was designed by local architect, William Cannady and donated to the City of Houston by the Wortham Foundation and American General Insurance. The fountain, also affectionately called “the dandelion fountain” is located in the 2900 block of Allen Parkway.

Physical Description
The fountain is comprised of a central bronze shaft with multiple bronze sprinkler pipes radiating out of a central hub. The pipes are equal in length giving the top portion of the fountain a spherical shape, which is reinforced by the surface of the sphere created by the spaying water.

Restoration / Conservation
The condition of the fountain is not good because of the interaction between water and the implemented materials. Houston's active environment has also reacted with the bronze. Some of the bronze sprinkler pipes are bent and some became detached and fell into the water basin. The lacquer coating on the bronze is also flaking.

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