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The Bartholdi Fountain is created by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who later would design the Statue of Liberty. It was created for the 1876 Centennial Exposition that would be in Philadelphia. Now sitting at the corner of Independence Avenue and First Street, in the United States Botanic Garden in Washington DC. It was actually named the Fountain of Light and Water. The symbols used were used to be allegory of light and water. 

This fountain was a made to celebrate the 100th birthday of the United States. It was cast by the Durenne foundry in France. This company has won many awards for their iron-cast fountains at the 1862, 1867, and 1873 international expositions. It was offered to the exposition for free by Bartholdi, as he expected to sell it afterwards, as well as others of the same design to other countries. It sat near the entrance to the exposition, at the center of the esplanade. 

Designed in a series of basins that are supported by sculptures of classical figures. The fountain stood thirty feet high, and because the cast iron was coated in bronze, the whole piece weighed a grand total of thirty thousand pounds. The fountain was placed in the center of a large circular stone basin. The lower basin was supported by three figures of women that stand on a triangular pedestal that is decorated with shells and three reptiles that spout water. The basin is surrounded with a circle of 12 gas lamps. In the center of the basin there are three titans that support the upper, smaller basin. Water flows from a crown into this basin, overflowing into the next basin, and then overflowing into the lower pool. The gas lights allow the water cascade to be lit up at night, this made it one of the first fountains to be illuminated at night. 

The exposition ended in 1877, and unfortunately Bartholdi was not able to find a buyer for the fountain. The United States Congress ended up purchasing the fountain for half of the requested sum asked by Bartholdi. It was placed into the botanical Gardens on the center of the Mall in Washington D.C in 1878. The fountain was electrified in 1915, with glass globes replacing the old gas lanterns. In 1927 the fountain was actually dismantled and moved from the National Mall. In 1986 the fountain underwent sandblasting which removed more than 30 layers of paint, allowing the finer details of the fountain to be seen again. 
In 2008, the Architect for the Capitol understood a major reconstruction project to completely renovate the corrosion and excessive wear that occurred to the fountain. It included repairing damaged metals, replacing the interior mechanical and electrical components, as well as the replacing of the lighting fixtures to new energy efficient fixtures. The fountain was modernized as well adding energy efficient pumps and motors, water treatments and filters, as well as a zinc coating to preserve the original cast-iron that dates back to 1876. The fountain was restored completely off site, and was returned to Bartholdi Park in 2011.