Friday, September 10, 2010

Chicago South [Drake Fountain / The Columbus Monument - by Richard Henry Park]

Drake Fountain - by Richard Henry Park

Drake Fountain - by Richard Henry Park


Location: East 92nd Street at South Chicago and Exchange Avenues

It was a gift to Chicago from hotel owner, John B. Drake

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.

Drake Fountain - by Richard Henry Park


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.

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.

Drake Fountain - by Richard Henry Park

It is also known as an ice water fountain, 
as it originally dispensed cool drinking water from its four granite basins. 

The plaque on top reads..

Ice Water Fountain
The Gift of John B. Drake
to the City of Chicagho

Drake Fountain - by Richard Henry Park

Other Columbus Monuments include
Columbus Monument - by Carl Brioschi


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!

MeeMee said...

A time capsule was buried there in 1976.