Since before the founding of the Federation, several diplomatic conferences were held in a small habitat dome on the surface of the otherwise uninhabited planetoid Babel, located on the Wolf 424 system. Following a series of incidents during the 23rd century involving attempts at sabotage and espionage, Federation officials came to understand how ill-equipped said habitat dome had become. Being a structure more than 100 years old at that point, it had become impossible to guarantee the safety of dignitaries at future conferences.
In 2274, the decision was made to construct a small starbase in orbit of Babel, to host all conferences going forward. This would not only mean a more defensible structure in the case of a direct attack (something which worried Starfleet in particular given the tensions with the Klingon Empire at the time), but also provide a more future-proof structure able to be updated and upgraded for generations. This new orbital station would be named after the Earth ambassador who first proposed a conference at Babel in 2154, and who was later instrumental in writing the Federation Charter.
Inaugurated in 2286, Fontana Station counted with state-of-the-art diplomatic facilities and amenities; including 32 conference rooms of varying sizes; accommodations for over 250 guests; multiple independent environmental systems to accommodate a wide range of species with their own environmental needs; large scale transporters for diplomatic parties; and several shuttlebays able to receive a large number and variety of small transport crafts.