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Wednesday, September 18, 2019


Fountain photo by author, 2011.

By Thomas Shess, San Diego Magazine
--Next time you’re having lunch at David and Leslee Cohn’s Prado Restaurant, the finest public park restaurant west of NYC’s Central Park, take time to locate the nearby “Persian Water Rug” fountain.

Created by architect Richard S. Requa, AIA in 1935, the fountain/sculpture is found southeast of The Prado’s patio dining area. Leading Requa historian [the late] Parker Jackson reminded me that Requa was the Supervisor of Architecture and Landscaping for the 1935 Exposition. “The Water Rug's pedigree can be traced to ancient Persian gardens and palaces. The style is called 'chadar', which means shawl,” says Jackson.

If you face the fountain do a 180-degree turn and you’ll see the 1915 Botanical Garden across the park. The corridor between the two is meant to be a tranquil retreat for Balboa Park visitors.
Parker Jackson, left with architecture
journalist Tom Shess 2006.
On the times when we met (I’ve written two articles on Jackson’s home, which was nee Richard Requa’s model home for a Kensington Tract), we often discussed the idea that a plaque should be placed near the fountain to alert visitors to its historical significance.  So far, there’s nothing.

A few years back, Parker inspired me to the point that I wanted to recreate the Persian rug in my side yard. My wife and I were dismayed that the lowest bid any contractor gave us was $35,000. The idea faded but it’s still on my wish list.

For a detailed article by Parker Jackson on the aforementioned Requa public park rug click here.

Persian Water Rug, 1935 courtesy of Parker Jackson.

If you look in the opposite direction from the Persian Rug water fountain you will view in the distance the Botanical building and lily pond.

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