Sara Lavinia Hyams Memorial Fountains

The Wading Pools
Sara Lavinia Hyams Fountain, 1929 - The caption on this photograph doesn't identify which
of the two fountains this is, but it was among a group of pictures that contained other
Audubon Park images, so it's probably Audubon Park, but I'm not promising.
Sara Lavinia Hyams Memorial Fountain, City Park, 1920's
New Orleans philanthropist, Sara Lavinia Hyams, died in 1914, bequeathing her jewelry
collection, valued at $30,000, to be sold and the profits used to construct a fountain in
both Audubon Park and City Park, for the children of the city.  The fountains--which are
actually more like wading pools--were duly constructed and provided a place for young
children to splash and cool off in the summer heat for many years thereafter.
The folks who run City Park have been good stewards of Sara Hyams' gift.  The Sara
Lavinia Hyams Memorial Fountain is well-maintained, a part of the Carousel Garden,
and is still providing cooling entertainment for the children.
However, the Audubon Institute, who manages Audubon Park, has not followed City
Park's example.  The wading pool where generations of New Orleanians made happy
childhood memories under the shade of the moss-covered oaks, is--and has been for
many years-- neglected, broken and unusable.  It seems that the Institute, for all the
strides it's made in the Park and Zoo, has no interest in Sara Hyams' magnificent gift to
"the little children of New Orleans."   
Sara Lavinia Hyams Memorial Fountain, Audubon Park, 2002

Empty now.  But, come and sit under the oaks some early morning, just as the
mist burns off of the lagoon, and a slight breeze ripples the invisible water in
the pond.  If you pay close attention, you might catch faint echoes of happy
laughter from the child you used to be.
It could happen.
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Audubon Zoo, 1936

Posing with the Old Black Bear

The Swan Boat

City Park, 1899 - 1913

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