By Dan Murphy
Dogs and their owners will have reason to rejoice with the grand reopening of the restored Lotta Fountain on the Charles River Esplanade on Thursday, June 15.
The 6-foot granite fountain, adorned by a statue of a dog, the face of a cat and etched drawings of a duck and a rabbit, was designed by renowned sculptor Katherine Lane Weems and constructed in 1939. Its unique, Art-Deco design includes a fountain-fed pool for dogs, two bubblers for humans and granite benches. The fountain sits midway between the Arlington and Dartmouth Street footbridges next to the Esplanade Playspace, after being displaced from its original location in 1949 in preparation for the construction of Storrow Drive. It honors Lotta Crabtree, a philanthropist and entertainer who died in Boston at age 76.
Besides making the fountain operational again, the $358,000 rehabilitation project spearheaded by the Esplanade Association (EA) also includes cleaned and repointed granite; restoration to the cat’s face and dog’s ears; accessibility to the fountain for those with disabilities; installation of a bronze basin; replacement of missing bluestones on the terrace; and new plantings in the garden beds surrounding the fountain.
“We’d like to thank the generous community that supported this amazing project,” said Tani Marinovich, EA executive director. “The Lotta Fountain brings a famed Boston philanthropist, Lotta Crabtree, back into the spotlight, showcasing her love of animals. We are proud that it is once again a gathering place for dog owners on the Esplanade.”
EA will join the Department of Conservation and Recreation to mark the reopening of the fountain with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, June 15, at 3:30p.m.
EA promises the ceremony will be a “family- and dog-friendly event,” with an actress portraying Crabtree accompanied by a banjo player; vendor giveaways; and refreshments for guests and their dogs.
Visit www.esplanadeassociation.org for more information on the event and EA.