The Bartholdi Fountain was created by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (1834 - 1904), the French sculptor who also designed the Statue of Liberty. It was first exhibited in Philadelphia at the International Exposition of 1876. The Fountain was purchased by the U.S. Congress in 1877 for the six thousand dollars and placed on the Botanic Garden grounds, then situated in the center of the Mall. Moved to its present location in 1932, the Bartholdi Fountain was restored in 1986.
The Fountain, intended to be an allegorical representation of Water and Light, is designed in three identical sections with classical forms and symbols.