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fountains
Williams Waterwall, Houston

Houston has a decidedly corporate quality, so it should come as no surprise that this stunningly impressive fountain, built by no less than legendary architect Philip Johnson, was erected as part of the Transco office park in the mid-1980s. Now the adjacent tower carries the name of Williams, as does this “waterwall.” From the lawn, there’s a thrilling sense of arrival as you pass under one of three Romanesque arches. The fountain’s horseshoe shape embraces you, inviting you to move close to the 64-foot walls to get doused by a mist that is especially welcome on this city’s sweltering summer days. (Photo: Rian Castillo / Flickr)

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October 8, 2013

Public fountains were originally built for drinking and bathing, but indoor plumbing changed that. Now these ornate, often massive pieces of moving sculpture are purely decorative, drawing crowds to their cascades and sprays all over the world. | Drew Limsky, Compass