Protected landmark designation for Mecom Fountain moves forward

The City of Houston is proceeding with its designation of the Mecom Fountain as a protected historic landmark. Architect Eugene Werlin designed the fountain, which was built in 1964 in the traffic circle where Montrose Boulevard meets Main Street at the entrance to Hermann Park. Houston oilman John Mecom funded the project after he bought the former Warwick Hotel (now Hotel ZaZa) across the street from the fountain's site.

Mecom Fountain (1964, Eugene Werlin) /  photo courtesy of flickr user  telwink

Mecom Fountain (1964, Eugene Werlin) / photo courtesy of flickr user telwink

The city had begun the landmark designation process before Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission (HAHC) and Preservation Houston member Anna Mod noticed workers covering the fountain's basin with limestone panels and notified city officials. Mayor Sylvester Turner halted the work and Houston Chronicle columnist Lisa Gray brought the issue to the public's attention with articles about the changes being made. The city is proceeding with the protected landmark designation with Preservation Houston and Houston Mod providing research support for the application. The nomination is expected to go before the HAHC this week.

Preservation Houston Advisory Board member Phoebe Tudor is one of the founders of Friends of the Fountain, which is working to raise $60,000 by March 31 to restore the Mecom Fountain to its mid-century appearance through a crowdfunding effort. To date, the group has raised two-thirds of the needed funds.

Preservation Houston will continue to provide its members with information about future developments regarding the fountain.