Date(s) - 02/18/2021
11:30 am - 12:45 pm
The History and Future of the Sunol Water Temple: a free virtual presentation from the Museum of the San Ramon Valley
On February 18 at 11:30 the museum is excited to host Carla Schultheis the Watershed and Environmental Improvement Program Manager for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Carla will be speaking on the history and future of the Sunol Water Temple.
There are only three water temples in the United States. Yes, one of them is located in Sunol CA. The Sunol Water Temple. It was commissioned by William Bowers Bourn the fabulously rich owner of the Empire Gold mine and the Spring Valley Water Co. The Spring Valley Water Co. had a monopoly on supplying water to San Francisco.
The famous architect Willis Polk was hired to design the temple. When it was completed in 1910 the 60 foot high Sunol Water Temple featured twelve Corinthian columns topped by a wood and tile roof. Painted wood panels beneath the tile roof depicted Indian maidens carrying water vessels. Truly an architectural and artistic masterpiece.
The temple is located at the convergence of the three subterranean water sources At this location, they poured down into a tile basin at the temples bottom. Prior to the construction of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct, half of San Francisco’s water supply (6 million gallons a day) passed through the Sunol temple.
Over time the Water Temple would no longer supply water to San Francisco. Sadly overtime it would fall into disrepair. It is was severely damaged by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
Hear about the critical and interesting role the Water Temple has played in the development of the Bay Area. In addition, learn about the exciting new role it will be playing for the 21 Century.
To attend this free online presentation please visit our website at museumsrv.org and go to the Events section or call 925 837-3750.