Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society launches fund drive for David R. Brooks Memorial Fountain


By Karen Billing

The Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society held a kickoff party Aug. 14 for its fundraising drive for the David R. Brooks Memorial Fountain.

Longtime friends Peppy and Norman Bahr initiated the project to honor Brooks for his “significant contribution” to the RSF Historical Society’s growth. Board member and architect Max Wuthrich designed the fountain, planned to grace the side courtyard wall of the RSF Historical Society’s La Flecha House. The society plans to unveil the Brooks fountain at its annual Christmas party on Dec. 11.

Brooks, who was very active on the historical society board and served as vice president, died Dec. 22, 2013. A retired SAIC executive, he lived with his wife, Peggy, in a Lilian Rice-designed home in Rancho Santa Fe.

“David had an appreciation of history, particularly that of Rancho Santa Fe, and felt the need to preserve it,” Peggy said. “They had the idea that his memory could flow through the fountain, and I thought, ‘What a lovely way to remember him.’”

Wuthrich modeled the fountain after Richard Requa’s “Persian Water Rug” fountain, originally constructed for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park. The design resembles a carpet draped over the wall, consisting of hand-painted ceramic tiles from Portugal. The tiles will be set in a “sawtooth” pattern, with the top edge of each tile projecting slightly beyond the tile above it, which Wuthrich said creates a quiet, rippling sound as the water flows over them.

Renderings of the fountain were on display Aug. 14 at the La Flecha House as friends gathered to ensure that Brooks’ contributions to the Historical Society are not forgotten.

“He had an uncanny way of looking at a situation, of bringing order to financial data, to inventory and special projects,” said John Vreeburg, RSF Historical Society president. “He is missed — and remembered.”

To donate to the David R. Brooks Memorial Fountain, call 858-756-9291 or email