Mineral Well Public Plaza Opens in Downtown Arlington
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communications
Posted on September 18, 2023, September 18, 2023

Until 1951, Arlington’s “Old Mineral Well” had served as a bustling community gathering place for nearly six decades. Today, a new public landmark recently completed in Downtown pays tribute to this piece of Arlington’s past while creating a new gathering space for generations to enjoy for years to come.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Saturday, Sept. 16 for the Mineral Well Public Plaza, located on the west end of the plaza area between City Hall and the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library.

The $2.3 million Mineral Well Public Plaza project was substantially funded by the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation. The charitable endowment has awarded 505 grants totaling $43.2 million to benefit the Arlington community since it was created in 2007.

Downtown’s newest gathering space features a 40-foot-tall, lighted clock tower, seating, landscaping, and a fountain with four lion busts that reflect the look of the historic mineral well. Please note that the water feature does not draw mineral water and is not designed for the public to play in, walk through or drink from.

The project was designed by national award-winning landscape architect and designer James “Jim” Richards and MESA Design Associates, Inc. of Dallas Texas developed detailed design concept and construction documents to meet existing site conditions and design standards. The project was constructed by Millis Development and Construction-Dallas, LLC and the lion bust sculpture panels were created by local master sculptor Janice Hart Melito.

The original mineral well was drilled at the intersection of Main and Center streets in the early 1890s. The site was not only a public water source but the focal point for cotton sales, rallies, parades and other community gatherings. The original well was utilitarian in style and replaced with the iconic lions bust fountain well in the 1910s. Over the years, the mineral water from the well became profitable for having healing properties and was converted into a small hut in the 1930s boasting the “Home of the Arlington Crystals.” Throughout the many iterations of the mineral well, the lion busts remained a prominent feature. The well, which was located about 320 feet east of the new clocktower and fountain, was permanently capped and paved over in 1951. Though gone for decades, residents can find tributes to the mineral well throughout Downtown. These include a replica fountain with lion busts by the Vandergriff Building, the 1976 Mineral Well monument relocated from the former Downtown Arlington Library site to Founders Plaza, signage on the Center Street sign poles, and one of the well bowls on display at Knapp Heritage Park.

To find out more about the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation’s philanthropic activities, check out their Grant Highlights and Past Awards.

Enjoy learning about Arlington’s rich history? Visit the City’s Open Arlington portal to explore an interactive map featuring 45 designated Local Landmarks and Historic Districts.

Mineral Well Public Plaza in Downtown Arlington
History, Downtown Arlington, City Council District 5, Arlington Tomorrow Foundation
News, Government, City Council, Parks & Recreation, Headlines