Mulholland Memorial Musical Fountain

15 May 2019

The Mulholland Water Fountain was given dedication last August 1, 1940, and will soon be called the “Kool-Aid” fountain due to the way the lights with all the colors illuminate at night time. Today, it stands a not so legal hang out place for children and adults alike who may want to take pictures with it on the background. Only a few people know much deeper about the man behind the musical fountain that is being honored by it.

Every August 1 marks the celebration of William Mulholland who is responsible for the creation behind the concrete and steel through the Mojave Desert and brought along the water to the gateway of L.A. It was growth and complete expansion that many business people wished for and other civic leaders during his time.

Mulholland self-studied engineering and became the city head of the Bureau of Water Works and Supply. He also expressed support to Fred Eaton with his vision of redirecting water from the Owens Valley to the Sierras. They employed a total of around 5,000 workers and 6,000 mules, Mulholland was able to finish the aqueduct which measures 238 miles long despite the lack of budget and all the time constraint.

Mulholland Memorial Musical Fountain

However, there are no musical fountains that honored Mulholland in the section of Owens Valley. Despite its being dynamited frequently during the 1920s, Mulholland assigned armed guards to patrol the said aqueduct. On September of 1976, it was still damaged by unknown saboteurs. No one got hurt and the dynamite did not exactly explode. The saboteur did not know that the arrow filled with explosives landed on the fountain’s water.

It was in 1935 that Mulholland passed away, overcoming all the controversies that have come his way. And from then on, the city did a great thing in honoring this great man. During this ceremonial dedication, there were a total of around 3,000 people who filled Los Feliz Boulevard as the Los Angeles Police Band sang in the background. Part of the ceremony was the granddaughter of Mulholland who was 17 and along with her 9-year-old sister Patricia who pushed a simple button to start up the fountain.

It was believed that Mulholland used to live in a one-room shack where the fountain now stands. Another reason for the selection of this location is due to its being a business district composed of pretty intersections. In the coming years ahead, the fountain symbolized abundance, prosperity and a good life in the LA style approach.

Mulholland Memorial Musical Fountain

Many say that due to its colored lighting effect, the fountain appeared very much like Kool-Aid. This became very apparent when a postcard was taken with the fountain as the background during the 1940s. At present, the problems that the fountain is encountering are the aging of its equipment. The water is unable to go through a consistent pattern anymore. At night, there are no more colored lights being played, and most of the time it is just intentionally shut down. However, the fountain is said to be scheduled for immediate renovation.

Keywords: musical fountain

Originally published 15 May 2019, updated 15 May 2019.

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