The Temperance Fountain sits in a rather prominent spot downtown, but chances are, it's been ignored more often than photographed. Now, the statue with the heron atop a pavilion housing truly disgusting dolphins sits in front of a Starbucks across from the Archives Metro north of several banks and government buildings, but it used to stand a half a block south in front of the liquor stores that once populated Pennsylvania Avenue. Even during the prohibition era, the gift from San Francisco dentist Henry Cogswell stood in front of a bank that had a liquor store operating covertly out of the ground floor. The fountain no longer acts as a fountain, but when it was first constructed in 1882, ice water came from the mouth of one of the dolphins. The purpose was to get passers-by to drink water rather than whiskey. The once-declared ugliest statue in D.C. is not the only one of its kind, either. There are standing temperance fountains in New York City and Connecticut and a few others have since been torn down.
· These odd monuments give a quirky history lesson [LA Times]
· Temperance Fountain (Washington, D.C.) [Wikipedia]
· All Hidden Memorials [CDC]