Watergate Fountain – Washington, D.C. - Atlas Obscura

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Watergate Fountain

The word "Watergate" will forever be associated with the infamous scandal in 1972, but this fountain is famous in its own right.  


Designed by Italian architect Luigi Moretti with input from Hungarian-born developer Nicholas Salgo, this fountain was constructed between 1964-1971. The elaborate fountain in Watergate East, with its bidirectional, multi-tiered, oviform cascades of white—complete with a stoic, water-spewing lion, is a picture-perfect complement to the complex. 

Watergate East is the first of six buildings and the largest of the three residential buildings that make up the Watergate Complex. While the name Watergate typically conjures up visions of the break-in that would lead to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in August 1974, that event took place in the Watergate Office Building at 2600 Virginia Avenue.

The complex was designed by Boris Timchenko, a Russian-born modernist and landscape artist who made a name for himself by earning commissions from such luminaries as Mamie Eisenhower and Jackie Kennedy before being tapped for the Watergate project. Some of his other works in Washington D.C. include Tompkins Hall at George Washington University and the National Geographic Building.

Know Before You Go

Watergate East is a building of private residences, but the public is welcome to explore the grounds and courtyard where the fountain is located.

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