Friday, September 10, 2010

Drake Fountain / The Columbus Monument

Drake Fountain / 1893..
By Richard Henry Park [1832-1902]
It was a gift to Chicago from hotel owner, John B. Drake..
Location: East 92nd Street at South Chicago and Exchange Avenues..
Designated a Chicago Landmark: March 10, 2004.

Believed to be Chicago's first statue commemorating Columbus. The monument was originally dedicated in December 1892 to mark the 400th anniversary of his voyage.

Also known as an ice water fountain, it originally dispensed cool drinking water from its four granite basins. Inspired by Gothic Cathedral architecture, the fountain is fashioned of small coupled granite columns and curving buttresses that rise upward 33-feet to culminate in a pointed spire. A 71/2 foot bronze figure of Columbus portrayed as a young student of geography, globe in hand, stands on a stone pedestal at the front..

A statue of Columbus and dedicated in 1892, these two pointers makes me wonder if it was a part of 1893 World's Columbian Exposition?? I am not sure??

It has been moved a few times..
- It originally located on Washington Street in a plaza created by a light court of the former City Hall-County Building..
- In 1906, when the Old County building was razed it was moved to LaSalle Street..
- In 1909, it was moved to its current location, on East 92nd Street at South Chicago and Exchange Avenues..

Ref: A Guide to Chicago's Public Art..
By Ira J.Bach and Mary Lackritz Gray..

The other Columbus Monuments that I've seen..

Columbus Monument..
By Carl Brioschi..
Installed: 1933..
Location: Grant Park, Columbus Dr. at Roosevelt Rd.
For more.. click here..


adgorn said...

I believe this was ordered to coincide with commemorating Columbus, but was never actually part of the 1893 fair and was initially installed downtown as a drinking fountain as you mention. You can see several photos of this in the Chgo Daily News Photo Archives at

Jyoti said...

Thanks Alan..
You always have interesting information!
Thanks for sharing..much appreciated!