Just this week at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, crews were able to install a special feature to the new Intake Tower roof. The new intake tower is part of the outlet works that releases water from the reservoir. The special features are roof drain scuppers made of cast bronze in the shape of a mountain lion head designed by artist Manuel Palos and architect Andrew Maloney.
Why a Mountain Lion?
The lion head “grotesque” & “gargoyle” ornament has decorated buildings for thousands of years. In Greek and Roman classical architecture, the lion was a symbol of the fallen hero, guardian of gates, temples, and public buildings. The rain water from the roof is collected in the drain and exits the mouth of the mountain lion.
Mountain lions are native to the Alameda Creek Watershed. Some construction workers have seen them on site and we even captured footage on our trail camera: