|(1940)* - Mulholland Memorial as seen during the day. This fountain is named in honor of William Mullholland, the City Engineer who brought water to the Los Angeles area from the Owens Valley via the aqueduct. Located on the corner of Los Feliz Boulevard and Riverside Drive, the fountain was designed by Walter S. Clayberg in 1940.|
|(1940)* - History was made and relived as persons prominent in the city's life gathered on Riverside Drive and Los Feliz Boulevard the morning of March 30, 1940 to recount the deeds of William Mulholland and to break ground for a fountain memorial.|
LADWP Historic Archive
April 1940 – Groundbreaking Ceremonies, marking actual start of construction on the memorial fountain being erected in honor of William Mulholland, were held March 30th at Riverside Drive and Los Feliz Blvd.
In a brief but impressive program the life and works of the late Water Bureau “Chief” were lauded by civic leaders. Appropriately, three former associates of Mr. Mulholland, each with 50 years or more of Department service to his credit, turned over the first shovelfuls of earth for the project.
They were: Thomas Brooks, L. M. Anderson and D. Ghiotto.
Representing Mayor Fletcher Bowron, who was absent form the city, was Harbor Commissioner Burt A. Heinly, formerly secretary for many years to Mr. Mulholland.
Also on the program were Miss Rose Mulholland, daughter of the former Water Bureau “Chief,” Harry Chandler and Henry O’Melveny. George Sopp, secretary of the Engineering and Construction Committee, made the opening and concluding announcements.
Others taking an active part in the ceremonies were Joseph Scott, general chairman, and Watt L. Moreland, construction committee chairman, of the William Mulholland Memorial Committee.
The fountain is being built by the General Construction Company, low bidder on the job. The contract is scheduled to be completed by July 1. Appropriate dedicatory ceremonies will be held when the fountain is put into use as a civic attraction and a memorial to the man known as the “father of the municipal water system.”
|(August 1, 1940)* - H. A. Van Norman speaking at the dedication of the Mulholland Memorial.|
LADWP Historic Archive
August 1940 – Witnessed by a large crowd that included prominent civic leaders who were old time friends; Department employees who were associated with him when he was building the Owens River Aqueduct; and hundreds of people who knew him only as “father of the City water system,” the William Mulholland Memorial was dedicated the night of August 1, 1940.
The impressive dedicatory ceremonies opened with selections by the Los Angeles Police Band, under the direction of Captain Harry Signor. Following brief introductory remarks by George Sopp, secretary of the Memorial Engineering and Construction committee, Aqueduct Post Color Guard presented the flag of our country and led in the pledge of allegiance. Mass singing of the National Anthem was led by the Los Angeles Civic Chorus, directed by J. Arthur Lewis.
After the invocation by The Most Reverend John J. Cantwell, Mr. Sopp introduced Joseph Scott, chairman of the Memorial Committee, and master of ceremonies for the evening. Mr. Scott, in turn, introduced other Committee members, and Walter S. Claberg, designer of the Memorial.
Heading the list of prominent speakers, each of whom spoke on a particular phase of Williams Mulholland’s character, was Watt L. Moreland, president of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. His subject was “William Mulholland’s Accomplishments.”
T. B. Cosgrove spoke of Mulholland’s prophetic vision and was followed by W. P. Whitsett who reminisced on “Then – and Now.” Tribute to Mulholland’s engineering genius was paid by a long time associate, J. B. Lippincott. “Mulholland the Planner” brought glowing praise from E. F. Scattergood and “There It Is – Take It,” by Harry Chandler, told of another dedication – that of the arrival here in 1913 of the first water to flow through the 238 mile length of the Aqueduct.
Vierling Kersey and Victor H. Rossetti presented messages that dealt with the educational and business aspects of Mulholland’s life.
The personal side of Mulholland, the friend, was related with interesting anecdotes by Henry W. O’Melveny. Final tribute fittingly was paid by H. A. Van Norman, Water Bureau head, who, speaking as an employee of the Department of Water and Power chose as his subject “William Mulholland, The Chief.”
Interspersed between speakers were musical numbers by the Civic Chorus and Douglas McPhail, young singing star from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
To Patricia Mulholland, nine-year-old granddaughter of the beloved Chief, went the honor of pressing the button which brought to life the illuminated fountain and officially placed it in operation.
After emphasizing the inspirational value of Mulholland’s life in well chosen remarks. Mr. Scott presented the Memorial to the citizens of Los Angeles, the acceptance speech being made by Mayor Fletcher Bowron.
Following mass singing of “America,” the program was brought to a close with the benediction by Dr. William Martin, pastor of Wilshire Methodist Episcopal Church.
As epitomized by Mr. Van Norman, the memory of William Mulholland – The Builder is indelibly impressed on the minds of Los Angeles citizens by outstanding accomplishments – building of the Owens River Aqueduct and development of the City’s water system which has grown to the second largest distribution network in the United States.
And with the dedication of the Memorial, the memory of Williams Mulholland – The Man, will be perpetuated.
Distinguished by lack of any ornate details, the Spartan simplicity of the Memorial’s design typifies the rugged, honest, straightforward character of the beloved Chief.
His innate kindness, which he attempted to hide under an outer covering of gruffness, is brought out by gently cascading jets of water, brought to beautifully life by softly subdued lights of many colors.
The Memorial not only is a tribute to Mulholland; it is a tribute to an appreciative citizenry, from civic leader to laborer, from pioneer resident to school child, whose dollars, dives and pennies made possible its construction.^
|William Mulholland Memorial Dedication - Patricia Mulholland, nine-year old granddaughter of the beloved Chief, had the honor of pressing the button which brought to life the illuminated fountain and officially placed it in operation.*|
|(1940)* - Wiliam Mulholland Memorial - Night shot shows illumination.|
In the main approach to the fountain memorial, a five-ton granite boulder that symbolizes the rugged character of William Mulholland has been placed. It was brought down from the hills above Haiwee Reservoir, where Mulholland saw it while the aqueduct was under construction and commented upon its pink beauty. Little could be visualize that more than a quarter century later it would be part of a memorial erected in his honor. But H. A. Van Norman, who was with him when he dropped the comment, did not forget. When the time came that a memorial was to be built, his suggestion that the granite boulder from Haiwee be used for the memorial inscription and to receive the documents that are to be permanently preserved was enthusiastically approved. The inscription reads as follows:^
To William Mulholland
A penniless Irish immigrant boy,
Who rose by the force of his industry,
Intelligence, integrity and intrepidity
To be a sturdy American citizen, a
Engineering genius, a whole-hearted
Humanitarian, the father of his city’s
Water system and the Builder of the
Los Angeles Aqueduct:
This memorial is gratefully dedicated
By those who are the recipients of his
Unselfish bounty and the beneficiaries
Of his prophetic vision.
|(ca. 1980s)* - The Mulholland Fountain on the corner of Los Feliz Blvd. and Riverside Drive. Designed by Walter S. Clayberg in 1940. Photographer: Tom LaBonge|
In 1976 the Mulholland Fountain was declared City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 162 (Click HERE to see complete listing).
|(1925)* - Hollywood Reservoir and Mulholland Dam are shown with a crowd walking across the dam during the dedication ceremony. An American flag can be seen draped over one of the towers.|
The Mulholland Dam was a concrete-arched gravity dam built as a large reservoir in the Hollywood Hills. The dam was built between August 1923 and December 1924 under the supervision of William Mulholland, chief engineer for the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Water Works and Supply. The reservoir formed behind the dam was called the Hollywood Reservoir (later Lake Hollywood) and would hold up to 2.5 billion gallons of water from the Owens River Aqueduct System (LA Aqueduct) and from the groundwater of the San Fernando Valley.
|(1925)* - Hollywood Reservoir and Mulholland Dam during dedication ceremonies. William Mulholland is shown standing in the car. To the rear are several riders on horseback.|
|(1925)* - William Mulholland standing in an open automobile in front of American flags at the dedication of the Mulholland Dam and Hollywood Reservoir. Click HERE to see the William Mulholland Biography.|
|(1928)* - View of Mulholland Dam and Hollywood Reservoir (also known as Lake Hollywood) both designed and built by engineer William Mulholland, for which the Dam is named after.|
Click HERE to see more in Mulholland Dam and Hollywood Reservoir
|(1923)* - Groundbreaking ceremony for Mulholland Drive, called Mulholland Highway at the time.|
This winding ridgeline road in the Santa Monica Mountains was dedicated in honor of William Mulholland, the water engineer who designed the Los Angeles Aqueduct, on Dec. 27, 1924. Originally dirt and called Mulholland Highway, the name was changed to Mulholland Drive in 1939. Portions of the original road remain unpaved.^*
|(ca. 1920s)*^ - A group of men survey Mulholland Drive. Harry Chandler is third from right and William Mulholland is on the far right.|
|(ca. 1937)** - This view of a Mulholland Highway directional sign, which is attributed to the Automobile Club and includes an AAA logo, is taken from the Cahuenga Pass where Cahuenga meets Mulholland. The natural hillside is visible to the east because this is before the 101 freeway was built.|
Other Mulholland Tributes and Honorariums
In 1914, the University of California at Berkeley honored Mullholland with an honorary doctorate degree. The inscription on the diploma read, "Percussit saxa et duxit flumina ad terram sitientum" (He broke the rocks and brought the river to the thirsty land). Mulholland's public profile continued to grow. His offices were, at one point, on the top floor of Sid Grauman's Million Dollar Theater. He was even a favorite to become mayor of Los Angeles. However when asked if he was considering running for office he replied, "I'd rather give birth to a porcupine backward".
Mulholland's stature was also recognized internationally: he provided technical assistance during the construction of the Panama Canal.*#
References and Credits