Washington, DC: Almost Last Surviving Temperance Fountain

Fight temptation here with a drink of cool water -- oops, it's gone dry.
Address:
Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC
Directions:
Midtown, on the southeast corner of 7th St. NW and Indiana Ave. NW.
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Last Surviving Temperance Fountain

This is a beautiful old fountain. Unfortunately it's not true that it is the only one in existence. The temperance fountain in Tompkins Square Park in New York still stands.

This one is still worth a visit.

[Wondermachine, 11/23/2008]
Temperance fountain fish sculpture. Last Surviving Temperance Fountain

An updated picture of the Temperance Fountain.

[Boris Kafka, 07/08/2008]

In the 1870s and 1880s, Henry Cogswell, a millionaire dentist, erected sixteen temperance fountains of his own design in various cities across America. In 1940, California Senator Sheridan Downey tried to have this one removed, calling it a "monstrosity of art." He failed. It remains the only surviving temperance fountain with a stork and a fish.

Temperance Fountain. Last Surviving Temperance Fountain

There is no plaque or signage for this, and it is right across the street from the Potbelly's "World's Oldest Elevator"

[Nate M, 05/07/2008]

Is that a booze-fish suffocating from lack of happy hours?

Temperance Fountain. Temperance Fountain

A dried up well, according to Wikipedia, that was used to provide cold drinking water to the masses in order to deter people from resorting to alcohol to quench their thirsts.

It's pretty simple looking, and the bottom of the well is now littered with candy wrappers and old leaves.

[Nat Balsley, 11/23/2006]
Temperance Monument

On the corner of 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue is the last remaining Temperance Monument, a lovely and graceful reminder of a failed social movement. Erected by Dr. Henry Daniel Cogswell, the fountain (topped by a stork) was built to encourage people to drink water rather than going to one of the nearby saloons to slake their thirst. Dr. Cogswell built similar monuments in Boston, Buffalo, Rochester, San Francisco, and Pawtucket -- all since torn down. But the one in downtown DC remains, just off the Mall.

[Kim Roberts, 02/18/2001]

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