Fountain of Life Restoration, Repairs, Surface Replacement

CATHEDRAL CITY — One of the most popular attractions when triple-digit temperatures sizzle in this community is the Gregory S. Pettis Fountain of Life where thousands of children have found respite from the heat in the cool streams and showers of water that flow from 32 separate fountain features.

Fountain of Life in Need of Restoration

The development of the “Fountain of Life” was meant to be something “truly special” monument symbolizing the ambition of an entire community as well as a fun gathering place for citizens of Cathedral City.

It is a focal point of downtown. But it is in dire need of restoration, repairs and surface replacement, according to Tami Scott, Administrative Services Director. She is recommending the City Council authorize the Fountain of Life renovation, repairs, as well as the replacement of the soft surface material in an amount not to exceed $146,850 and authorize the necessary budget amendments.

The City Council is scheduled to consider the recommendation when it meets at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27.

The Gregory S. Pettis Fountain of Life fell victim to the coronavirus on March 19 when Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order and closed all “non-essential” businesses and services. It remains closed until further notice, Chris Parman, communications manager for the city has said.

There is no way for children to properly social distance while playing at the Fountain of Life, Parman said. Even if  there were, there is no money in the budget to hire someone. It would also be impractical for children to wear masks while playing at the water attraction.

The closure has saved the city about $7,000 per month, Parman said.

Fountain of Life in Need of Restoration

Gregory S. Pettis Fountain of Life in disrepair.

With COVID-19, the fountain has been down for the better part of 10 months. This has provided an opportunity to inspect the fountain for a variety of issues, not only the soft surface. Upon inspection, staff has found several severe cracks in the stone, that may or may not be structural in nature, according to Scott. In addition, there is a significant amount of damage on other portions of the fountain and animals related to chips, broken off pieces of stone, mosaic tiles cracked/damage missing and cleaning, which needs to be done.

Scott is recommending that $70,000 come from the Art in Public Places fund and the balance, $76,850, come from the city’s Park Development Fund.

The Fountain of Life was named in memory of the late Mayor Gregory S. Pettis who served on the City Council from Dec. 12, 1994 until his death on Jan. 15, 2019.

Pettis played a key role in fostering a relationship with Cathedral City’s sister city, Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, and bringing the granite used to construct the Fountain of Life from the state of Jalisco.


Image Sources

  • Fountain of Life: City of Cathedral City
  • Fountain of Life: City of Cathedral City