Dedicated by the Memorial Fountain Commission in 1929 and located in the commercial heart of the Town of Palm Beach, the plaza was presented to the town by Harold S. Vanderbilt, its chairman, “as a gift from its residents.” The design was by local architect Addison Mizner.
Mizner moved to Palm Beach in 1918 and later that year completed his first commission, the Everglades Club. For the next decade, his celebrated Mediterranean Revival style would proliferate in Palm Beach and Boca Raton with commissions also in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Memorial Fountain Park, realized during the Great Depression, was one of his last commissions.
The design is a simple linear plaza with a central reflecting pool lined by walks, tightly clipped hedges and evenly spaced palms. On the upper terrace is a central fountain, inspired by the Fountain of the Sea Horses, an 18th century work by Christopher Unterberger at the Villa Borghese in Rome, Italy. Twin sets of staircases running the entire width of the plaza provide access to the upper terrace. The lower staircase on axis with the fountain has a central rill spilling into the pool. The plaza is punctuated by alcoves and walls for seating, and entrance piers with urns marking the arrival to the upper terrace and lower plaza. A World War II memorial plaque was added in 1985.