Frazer Fountain

 Frazer Fountain, Sydney, public art

Public Art : Frazer Fountain

Sculptor: © Lawrence Beveridge

Architect: © Designed by the City Architect, Thomas Sapsford.

Description: This was the second of two Frazer Fountains erected in Sydney in the 1880s (the first residing in Hyde Park) from donations made by Sydney businessman John Frazer. The Italian Renaissance style structure was carved from brown Pyrmont stone and the four water basins from Aberdean (Scottish) granite. The fountain resides inside the structure and features dolphins spouting water into the basins. Beanwath the pediments are inscriptions which read " Presented by John Frazer M.L.C. to his fellow citizens. John Hardie, Mayor.1884."

Date Unveiled: 2nd October 1884. Due to ill health John Frazer did not attend the unveiling of the fountain. The fountain was unveiled by Mayor John Hardie. Also in attendence were Mr T. Robinson (his business partner) and Mr J.H. Sapsford (City Architect).

Location: The Frazer Fountain is located on the roundabout on Prince Albert Road, Sydney, Australia.

Things You May Not Know About The Frazer Fountains :  The Herald declared this fountain an ‘ornate shrine of the cold water’

Who Was John Frazer?  John Frazer owned a successful wholesale grocery business in York Street, Sydney. Frazer often used his money to help fund poor chilren's education and donated generously to various charities.

In 1881 Mr Frazer intimated to the City Council that he was interested in donating £500 to have two drinking fountains erected in Sydney. The council put in tenders for the work and it was awarded to the lowest quote which was by Mr Beveridge for £800, this being £300 more than Mr Frazer had initially intended. However, after discussing the design with Mr Beveridge and agreeing that the fountains needed the architecural embellishments to give character to the design it was agreed. Mr Frazer would later donated a further £200 for the special granite basins making it a grand total of £1000.

Unfortunately it would be some time before the fountains would be erected due to several issues . Firstly, there was a  fight between the Mayor and the Trustee of Hyde Park over where the first fountain would be erected within the park. A similar fight occured over the location of the second fountain too. Further delays arose due to the basins which were imported from Edinburgh in Scotland. Lastly , the untimely death of the sculptor Mr Beveridge and a few accidents connected with the construction meant further delays.

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