Sir Richard Wallace began life in the city of Lisburn, moving to France having inherited a large fortune from his father in August 1870 decided that all Parisians should profit. Wallace’s devotion led him to remain in his Parisian villa even as the city was besieged, rather than take refuge on one of his palatial estates, to be in Paris when he was needed.
He founded a hospital, where he personally welcomed victims of the bombings and distributed supplies, among his other efforts on behalf of Parisians at war. He remained faithful to his adopted nation, France, and is buried at Père Lachaise cemetery. Of his numerous contributions to Parisian heritage, the best known today are the fountains which bear his name
Richard Wallace designed the fountains himself and intended them to be beautiful as well as useful. The locations, as well as the colour (a dark green, like all urban development of that era, in order to blend in with the parks and tree-lined avenues), were quickly decided upon by the city government.