Best Public Drinking Fountain, August 2012
Plumber Luther Haws invented the drinking fountain in 1906 and installed the first one at a school in Northern California. Soon after, a fine neoclassical bubbler known as the Old Beacon Street Fountain, with vertical fluting and a Greek key pattern, appeared along the booming San Pedro waterfront. The rough-and-tumble saloons, flophouses, and colorful nightlife of the area disappeared by the 1970s, but the white cast-iron column remains among the memorials and monuments of Pepper Tree Park. Even with a few nicks and stains, the ancient amenity provides a sip of history with an ocean view. » 638 S. Beacon St., San Pedro.