Driving or walking through downtown Houston, Texas there is a large fountain with three tiers near the old Enron Building. Do you remember the Enron fiasco? I don’t have the exact number but thousands of people lost much of their life savings and many lost their jobs. But I digress!
This beautiful fountain is located off of one of the main downtown streets called Smith and is at the intersection of Clay. It is on a piece of land that is irregularly shaped and upon which some benches are situated in which people can rest or even get out of the nearby towering buildings to enjoy a bite of lunch if they secure the spaces prior to others getting there first. Listening to the cascading water, looking at the reflections in the adjacent buildings faced with lots of glass, listening to the birds and just plain people watching would all add to the ambiance of sitting there for a while.
This fountain honors this couple who formed a non-profit foundation bearing their name. Its stated purpose was primarily to encourage philanthropy, voluntarism and grant making according to reports written about it. According to the Texas State Historical Association, Robert Everett Smith (Bob) was an interesting fellow who had myriad interests and ended up being an extremely wealthy oilman. He started his life in Texas. He ultimately owned a huge part of Houston real estate and was reported to have amassed approximately half a billion dollars.
He was interested in his community and surrounding area and became an important civic leader. Mr. Smith died in 1973 but his wife Vivian has her own Vivian L. Smith Foundation and is interested in neurological research among other things. It is so nice when wealthy people give back to their community like these two individuals have and I hope that you have enjoyed learning a little bit about them as well as viewing the beautiful Houston fountain bearing their names.