Historic Fountain on Capitol Mall Could Soon Disappear

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SACRAMENTO -- A proposal to demolish the fountain outside the Jesse M. Unruh building, steps away from the State Capitol, is drawing criticism from local historians and visitors.

Old pictures show the fountain in its glory days but 90 years since it was built, it’s now riddled with cracks, sitting dormant for almost a decade.

"I stopped here to look at the Capitol Building and that was the first time I've been here since probably '74," Richard Tucker, visiting from Los Angeles, told FOX40. "This is the first time I've been here since and I looked in there and said, 'Oh wait, there's no water.'"

The fountain has been off since 2010 when the state was in the midst of a drought.

As a renovation project is proposed for the Jesse M. Unruh building on Capitol Mall, the Department of General Services put out a report adding a few suggested changes to the historic view.

"We noticed that in addition to just restoring the building, they want to remove the fountain," Preservation Sacramento President William Burg said.

According to the environmental report, the project proposes to demolish the fountain with no specific plan for a replacement feature within the landscaped roundabout.

Burg says the fountain's removal represents "an irreplaceable and unjustified loss" of a historic resource.

"There is no reason that the fountain needed to be removed, it obviously wouldn’t save money," Burg said. "It costs money to demolish something like this."

A director at the department of general services issued a statement on the fountain:

"Unfortunately, the issues with the fountain located in the circle on Capitol Mall are significant and have proved to be unrepairable. The Department of General Services worked with multiple qualified vendors that reached the same conclusion. The Environmental Impact Report issued includes the option of removing the fountain. It is important to note that this is a proposal at this time, which will go through a formal approval process."

Friday was the last day for public comment on the proposal.

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