Tag Archives: Buenos Aires

Saavedra Fountain

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

This wall drinking fountain is model D17 cast by the Kennedy Patent Water Meter Co. Ltd. of Kilmarnock, Scotland, now known as Glenfield & Kennedy Ltd. It is inset to the wall of the Luis Maria Saavedra railway station in the Northern end of Buenos Aires. It was installed in 1891 when the station opened.


The cast iron backplate has straight sides with arches at the top and bottom of the structure. A central push button released water from a shell motif spigot into a fluted demi-lune basin. A galvanized cup, originally suspended by a chain, captured drinking water from patented self-closing taps.

The fountain hosts several bas-relief inscriptions;

  • Keep The Pavement Dry (civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains);
  • FCCA; an acronym for Ferrocarril Central Argentino translated as Central Argentina Railway.
  • Kennedy Patentee;
  • Kilmarnock.

This model is also located on the Alton Railway Station Platform in Hampshire, England.

Alton_flickr_rusty marvin

Used with permission. Photographer: http://johnworacker.com

Alton_flickr_paul busby

Used with permission, Paul Busby. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/busb/3353597652/


  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of liquid



Plaza de Cataluña Fountain

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Plaza de Cataluna at Arroya located in Buenos Aires hosts a replica of the Font de Canaletes drinking fountain in Barcelona, Spain. The fountain was donated to the city by Barcelona City Council in association with the Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona Company involved in water access in Argentina.

The dedication was attended by Chief of Government of Buenos Aires, Fernando de la Rua in 1996. Not long after its installation the taps were vandalized and had to be rebuilt. The repair was sponsored by La Recova de Posadas, a local business.

The base of the fountain is a circular plinth which doubles as a drainage system. Four circular basins on pedestals surround the central column, and a small trough for dogs is located at ground level. The central column expands into the shape of an urn with four spigots, each surmounted by Barcelona’s coat of arms. An attic base supports a fluted roof from which rises a highly decorated column with four brackets supporting glass lanterns with crown finials. The apex of the structure resembles a pine cone. A plaque resting against the octagonal stone plinth states:

This fountain, a replica of the historic Font des Canaletes located on the Rambla de Canaletes in Barcelona, was donated to the city of Buenos Aires by the city of Barcelona and the joint partnership of Barcelona Water Company and Argentina Water.


  • Attic base, A column base with two rings
  • Finial, A sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Spigot, A device that controls the flow of liquid from a container


Image Sources





Drysdale Fountain

Location: East Linton, East Lothian, Scotland

The Square Fountain tends to be a bit of a misnomer as it refers to the location (the Square) and not to its shape.

It was erected on the site of an old well in 1882 following a monetary donation from John Drysdale, a former East Linton native who settled in Buenos Aires, Brazil to become a farmer/rancher/businessman.

The fountain manufactured by the Sun Foundry is number 6 and was advertised as 11 feet high to the base of the centre lamp. The round pedestal base made from finely cut stone houses a dedication plate and supports a7 foot 9 inches wide cast iron fluted basin with palmette relief. A quatrefoil central column also decorated with palmette relief is flanked by four figures of young boys with pouring urns (casting number 7.) A fluted shaft emerges from a smaller basin (3 ft. 8 ins.) into which lion masks spout water. The finial consists of three lamps.

Early photographs show a decorative iron and stone balustrade surrounding the fountain.

In 1990, the fountain was listed a category B historic building.

There are similar fountains throughout the world: Currie Memorial Fountain in Durban, South Africa; St. Arvans near Chepstow, Wales; and Tranent, East Lothian, Scotland, all of which I will eventually blog.


  • Finial, A sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Palmette, A decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Quatrefoil, A type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter