The centerpiece of Grant Park is the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, a gift from philanthropist Kate Sturges Buckingham. Constructed in 1927, the fountain is one of the largest of its kind with a center jet that streams water 150 feet in the air. The structure was designed by Chicago architect Edward Bennet who, along with French sculptor Marcel Loyau and engineer Jazques H. Lambert, built the fountain in the vein of the Latona Basin at Versailles.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The fountain is made to represent Lake Michigan, with four pairs of Art Deco style sea horses that symbolize the four states that border Lake Michigan's shoreline.
- During its more impressive water displays, the fountain circuits through more than 15,000 gallons of water per minute.
- In total, the fountain contains more than 1,500,000 gallons of water and contains nearly 200 jets.
The fountain was constructed at a cost of $750,000 with an endowment fund established by Buckingham to help take care of the maintenance. Today, it's known as the "front door to Chicago's front yard" in reference to its flagship position in Grant Park.