The City of Fountains

The City of Fountains


Kansas City is home to more than 200 fountains, ranging from grand, classical cascades to ornate waterspouts via the most minimal of modern water features. Scattered throughout the metro and gracing parks, plazas and shopping areas, they are integral to the culture of the Kansas City – a place also known as the ‘City of Fountains’.

 

Kansas city fountain



A utilitarian history

Kansas City’s first fountains were erected in the late 1800s to quench the thirst of the many horses which passed through the city. These were followed by drinking fountains for the human residents of the Downtown area who were grateful for a source of safe drinking water, regardless of the beauty – or otherwise – of the structure it flowed from. But this was an age of enterprise and business-minded individuals soon began to add intricate carvings and ornate decorations into fountain designs and before long, a fashion was born.

 

Kansas city fountain

 

Five must-see fountains

With so many fountains, it’s impossible to see them all in a single visit to the city. Here are five of the best for your first time.

Fountain Basin: The city’s oldest fountain can be found at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The marble bowl was purchased in Italy in 1931 but it dates back to 220 A.D., during the Roman Empire. The pedestal was installed in 1933 marking the opening of the museum.

Fountain in Mill Creek Park: Located near the iconic Country Club Plaza, this is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Built in Paris in 1910, it once adorned the estate of New York millionaire, J.C. Nicols  and was transported to Kansas City from Long Island in 1951. The four horsemen at its centre are said to symbolize four of the world’s most famous rivers, including America’s own Mighty Mississippi.

Firefighters Fountain and Memorial: Dedicated in 1991 to honour six firefighters who lost their lives in a tragic accident, this stunning fountain serves as a memorial and tribute to all those who work in the city’s emergency services.

Henry Wollman Bloch Fountain: Featuring 232 water jets set to present a choreographed display every half hour, this is Kansas City's most towering fountain. You will find it in front of another of the city’s architectural masterpieces, Union Station.

Crown Centre Square Fountain: Water and music – courtesy of the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra – combine in this playful fountain located in the Crown Centre shopping mall.

 

Kansas city fountain