This horse trough sits on a traffic island at the confluence of West 155th Street, St. Nicholas Place, and Harlem River Driveway, just west of the 155th Street Viaduct leading to the McCombs Dam Bridge and Yankee Stadium. It is named after businessman John Hooper (1812-1889), who left $10,000 to the cities of Brooklyn and New York for two fountains "whereat man and beast can drink." This pink-granite fountain, erected in 1894, was designed by George Martin Huss and is topped by a globe-shaped lantern and contains a large round horse trough as well as a smaller bowl for small pets. The second fountain was built in Brooklyn at Flatbush and Sixth Avenue near Hooper's former Bed-Stuy home but was demolished at some later, unknown time. These fountains were among the many catering to beasts of burden in the late 19th and early 20th century.
With the replacement of horse-drawn vehicles by motorized conveyances, the fountain was soon obsolete. Although a WPA-funded plan for moving the fountain to a bridle path was floated in 1935, the fountain remained at this location. In 1981 the monument was severely damaged by vandals and the surviving parts were placed in storage. After the adjoining Maher Circle was declared an official landmark by the city in 1992 (along with the Macombs Dam Bridge and 155th Street Viaduct), the fountain was reset on this landscaped wheelchair-accessible island and restored with reconstructions of the lost parts and the addition of new bronze lion-head spouts. The island is just around the corner from a closed entrance to Jackie Robinson Park. (reference)
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