History of Buckingham Fountain

July 16, 2008 9:42:30 AM PDT
One of the city's most popular attractions, Buckingham Memorial fountain was dedicated in 1927. A gift to the city in honor of her late brother, Clarence, Kate Buckingham also established a $300,000 trust fund so taxpayers would not have to cover the cost of upkeep.

Buckingham envisioned a fountain of "soft moonlight" and worked with the technicians and designers on the water and lightning.

The fountain, which is one of the largest in the world, was renovated for $2.8 million in 1994 with the help of the Buckingham Fountain Endowment Fund, which is handled by the Art Institute of Chicago.

The fountain, designed by Edward H. Bennett, represents Lake Michigan and has four sea horses--which symbolize the four states that touch the lake- Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. It is constructed out of Georgia pink marble.

The fountain has remained mostly intact, although two carved fish heads were stolen from the fountain. They were missing briefly before a salvage store discovered them.

Related Resources:

  • CityofChicago.org/Landmarks
  • ChicagoParkDistrict.com

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