Donated to the City of Sydney by the Hon. John Frazer, MLC (1827-84), a merchant, company director and philanthropist. In 1881 Frazer agreed to finance the design and erection of two fountains to be located in Sydney. One of these fountains is located at the intersection of Art Gallery Road, Prince Albert and St. Mary’s Road. The other fountain is located opposite Sydney Grammar School, Hyde Park South.The fountain was designed by Thomas Sapsford, City Architect, and sculpted by Lawrence Beveridge. It was unveiled in 1884. The Frazer Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park is one of two erected in Sydney, the other being on Prince Albert Road (See Inventory sheet 2424003). Both were designed by Thomas Saapsford and sculpted by Lawrence Beveridge. The second was erected in 1884 at the outer perimeter of the Domain on St Mary’s Road. Both were dontaed by wealthy Sydney businessman John Frazer, MLC. (see also record M013). The Hyde Park fountain was originally installed at the Oxford Street corner of Hyde Park in 1881. It was one of numerous public drinking fountains installed in public thoroughfares and parks during the early 1880s when the city’s piped water supply was unreliable and largely restricted to the wealthy. For philanthropists, the masonry of the fountains also afforded a publicly visible space on which their name and good works could be recorded for posterity. The foutain featured Pyrmont sandstone, and a basin of gray granite from Scotland with dolphin taps and drinking cups of finely modelled engraved bronze. The fountain was moved twice in the first half of the twentieth century. The first, in 1917 was to make way for the Emden Gun. It moved near the Pool of Reflection. The second move in 1934 was caused by remodelling of Hyde Park South. It was transferred to its present position. Later in 1934 the taps and drinking cups were changed with a bubble fountain in keeping with changing attitudes towards health and hygiene.
Historically significant as a manifestation of nineteenth century philanthropy, this edifice is one of the few intact remaining drinking fountains in Sydney. Demonstrates earlier aspects of daily life in relation to water supply and usage as well as public health and hygiene.Long association with parks gardens and pleasure grounds. Aesthetically significant as a good example of baroque-inspired Victorian Gothic sandstone fountain. Socially significant as a source of drinking water as well as a meeting place prior to the universal provision of reticulated water.A manifestation of nineteenth century philanthropy, this edifice is one of the few intact remaining drinking fountains in Sydney. Demonstrates earlier aspects of daily life in relation to water supply and usage as well as public health and hygiene.Long association with parks gardens and pleasure grounds.