The artesian well completed at this site in 1889 furnished an ample and inexpensive water supply for the new Capitol. At a depth of about 1,550 feet, natural pressure forced water from the Trinity aquifer to the surface. The powerful flow of water satisfied drinking, sanitary and fire protection needs for the Capitol. A coal-fired boiler converted the well water into steam, which turned the building's first electric generator, and circulated through radiators to warm the Capitol's interiors. The abundance of well water for irrigation made possible the first landscape improvements, including a lawn of sod and more than a 100 new trees. A cast-iron drinking fountain placed over the well in 1903, provided continuously running well water and metal drinking cups hanging from chains. Convinced that the mineralized water possessed medicinal value, visitors hauled it away in bottles for the next 73 years. In 1928, a granite water fountain replaced the cast-iron fixture. Officials closed the well in 1980 due to more stringent water quality standards. This reproduction fountain, installed in 1996, provides safe drinking water with a gentle step on the foot lever.