Kuirau Park's blue fountain which, for decades teemed with children every hot summer's day, has been demolished to make way for improvements to the area.
The removal of the much-loved fountain and impending demolition of the building at the corner of Pukuatua St and Kuirau Rd mark the beginning of improvements Rotorua Lakes Council say will "further enhance Kuirau Park".
Locals have taken to Facebook to mourn the loss of the fountain that, for many, evoked nostalgic, childhood memories.
"My mum would take me there some 60 years ago and I'd take my grandson there about three years ago," one person wrote on the Rotorua Daily Post Facebook page.
"No doubt I slipped on the shiny blue paint and fell on my bum in there, just like every other little child who ever loved that fountain. When you're very little it's easy to get back up again, no harm done, no problem," another said.
One person said the fountain was Rotorua history.
"Everyone knew to go there for a dip to cool down."
But not everyone shared the same love for the fountain.
"I'm sure the memories are great but it's been pretty rank for a while now ... Haven't let my kids play in it for years," one woman said.
Others described it as an eyesore that hadn't been filled for years.
Kuirau Park has been the focus of staged upgrades during the past five years which have included vegetation control, additional amenities such as barbecue facilities and improved access for pedestrians, cyclists and other users and upgraded foot pools.
The current stage of upgrades at Kuirau Park include landscaping, construction of a barbecue area near the new foot pools and removal of the old fountain.
The smaller outdoor pool will be closed while this work takes place but the foot pool will still be available. The work is expected to be finished before Christmas.
Planned improvements include a playground upgrade and geothermal play space, relocation of the Saturday Rotary market to a purpose built area, additional off-street parking near the market area and construction of new toilets and changing rooms.
The council has allocated $5.5 million over the next six years for investment into Kuirau Park.
Meanwhile, from Monday work will begin on removing the Scout den building at the Lakefront.
The contract to remove this, as well as the Kuirau Park building, was awarded to AP Demolition.
The work is expected to take about five weeks.
The contract also covers removal of the Soundshell building which is scheduled to start in March 2019.