The Wawona Hotel and Thomas Hill Studio
The Wawona Hotel, which opened in 1879, is the largest existing Victorian hotel complex within the boundaries of a national park and is designated as a National Historic Landmark. The Thomas Hill Studio, built in 1883, was an artist’s studio, and it is now a place to find information and obtain wilderness permits in Wawona. The historic fountains at both locations were in disrepair until Conservancy-funded restoration efforts revived these celebrated landmarks.
In Need of Repair
For much of the 20th century, the historic Wawona Hotel fountain provided a welcome sight to travelers arriving after a long journey. For modern travelers, this experience was lost, as the historic fountain became dilapidated over time. Along with the fountain at the entrance of the adjacent Thomas Hill Studio, these signature icons provided a way to connect people to the park’s history. They remain important features of Yosemite’s cultural landscape.
The Past Springs Back to Life
The rehabilitation work, completed in 2011, utilized appropriate historic-preservation techniques. The project not only brought back each fountain’s most recent appearance, but also incorporated contemporary water-saving plumbing features. These historic treasures contribute to Yosemite’s charm and complement its natural wonders.