Monday, September 1, 2008

Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain

Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain ..
Completed: 1927 ..
Architect: Edward Bennett designed the fountain in conjunction with French sculptor Marcel Loyau and engineer, Jacques H. Lambert ..
Location: Columbus Dr. (301 E.) & Congress Pkwy. (500 S.) .. Chicago, IL 60605 ..

Kate Sturges Buckingham, philanthropist and art patron donated one million dollars for the fountain which was dedicated to the memory of her brother, Clarence Buckingham ..
At the time, she also established a $300,000 trust fund to ensure that the taxpayers would never have to cover all of the repair and upkeep costs associated with the fountain.

Another piece of public art donated by Kate Buckingham is ..
# Alexander Hamilton Memorial .. by Eliel Saarinen ..

From the City of Chicago Official Tourism Website ....
Inspired by the Latona Basin at Versailles, Bennett created an enormous structure with four basins clad in elaborately carved pink Georgia marble with granite details. Unlike the French fountain, the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain symbolizes Lake Michigan.

It conveys the enormity of the Great Lake through its vast and impressive water displays. Some of the displays use approximately 15,000 gallons of water per minute, and the major display, which occurs every hour for 20 minutes, sprays water to a height of 150 feet from the ground. The lower basin provides a pool that extends 280 feet in diameter.

Here Bennett decided to place four pairs of Art Deco style sea horses to represent the four states that border Lake Michigan. The monument's original design included colored lighting to emulate soft moonlight. When the fountain was dedicated in August of 1927, John Philip Sousa conducted, as his band which played “Pomp and Circumstance,” before an audience of 50,000.

Recently, in 2008, the fountain underwent a $25 million dollar restoration ..
Read more .. click here ..

While in operation, every hour on the hour for 20 minutes the Fountain produces a major water display and the center jet shoots 150 feet into the air. Beginning at dusk, every hour on the hour for 20 minutes the Fountain's major water display is accompanied by a major light and music display. The final display of the evening begins at 10:00 p.m.

Buckingham Fountain's designer, Edward H. Bennett, was born in Wiltshire, England in 1874... But he close to settle down in Chicago... Along with Daniel Burnham, he co-authored the "Plan of Chicago" in 1909 ... Burnham and Bennett created a working document giving substance to the City Beautiful philosophy. From this prototype Bennett developed comparable plans for numerous American cities, including Minneapolis, Detroit, and Portland, Oregon ..

For more on Grant Park ..
# Public Art in the Grant Park .. click here ....
# Gardens in the Grant Park .. click here ..
# Often overlooked but remarkable features like pedestrian crossings, the railway lines underneath, the street lamp posts, balustrade, corbels, the Y-symbols .. click here ..
# For a brief history of Grant Park .. click here ..

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