Famous Fountain at Kapiolani Park

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The water fountain at Kapiolani Park can be quite festive; one Halloween, I saw it spewing orange and during one Christmas season, the waters blended in with the surrounding greenery. I have even recalled seeing soap bubbles gurgling up and over the fountain walls. Of course that was most likely some prankster’s doing because on any other day, the fountain’s waters flow clearly on the Diamond Head side of the park.

Daily, visitors take home a memory of the fountain through their photos.

And this isn’t just any fountain. It’s one that has made numerous cameos on movies and television shows, like the original Hawaii Five-0. Local comedian Bu Laia even daringly snorkeled for coins here in one of his television show episodes; all with the world-famous image of Diamond Head shining in the background.

In the 1960s, the city constructed the fountain in honor of Louise Dillingham, who served many years as a member of the former City Parks Board. Her husband Walter is known for the huge changes he made to Honolulu’s landscape – which included draining Waikiki’s wetlands and creating the Ala Wai Canal.

Today the fountain at Kapiolani has become a popular resting spot for joggers and the perfect backdrop for photos. It’s located across the street from the Elk’s Club at Poni Moi Street. As a kid, I remember my parents taking me to the fountain so that I could toss a coin into its shallow waters and make a wish, which makes me wonder how much money has been collected over the decades. And how the city goes about cleaning its dyed or soapy waters? That must be a pain! Perhaps something I’ll investigate for another post.



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