13 Things You Might Not Know About KC's Fountains



1. Annually, on the second Tuesday in April, Kansas City pays homage to the city’s fountains with the celebration of Greater Kansas City Fountain Day, when all 48 city-operated fountains spring back to life for the season.

 

2. The Northland Fountain, located at North Oak Trafficway and Vivian Road in North Kansas City, spews water up to 35 feet high year-round and is known to form spectacular winter ice sculptures that change with the weather. Two other fountains also flow year-round: The Delbert Haff Circle Fountain and the Concourse Fountain.

 

3. Workmen at a salvage company found the Neptune Fountain atop a train car filled with scrap metal. Miller Nichols purchased it for the price of scrap metal and placed it at its current location on the Country Club Plaza.

 

4. The Eagle Scout Memorial fountain once graced the Seventh Avenue entrance of New York’s Penn Station.

 

5. The J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain was built in Paris in 1910 and once adorned the estate of a New York millionaire. It was salvaged from a scrap yard and brought to Kansas City by Miller Nichols in 1951.

 

6. The Water Spectacular at Kauffman Stadium is the largest privately funded fountain in the world at 322 feet wide.

 

7. Tom Corbin, who designed the Children's Fountain on North Oak Trafficway, used local children as his models.

 

8. Eight of Kansas City’s fountains are to “dye” for. From April 15 through Oct. 15, the fountains can be dyed (it doesn’t hurt them) to mark an event or further a cause. Fees are set by the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Board.  For guidelines and reservations, visit kcpark.org.

 

9. Kansas City maintains two solar-powered fountains—the Thomas H. Swope Memorial Fountain on the Swope Park Golf Course, and the American War Mothers Memorial Fountain located on Meyer Boulevard.

 

10. The Muse of the Missouri Fountain at 8th and Main streets was originally intended to only feature fish native to the Missouri River. However, the fountain’s creator, Wheeler Williams found catfish and carp too ugly, so the nine fish featured on the fountain are a hybrid of a carp body and a bluefish head.

 

11. The Boar Fountain on 47th Street near Wornall Road serves as a life-size piggy bank for donations to Children’s Mercy Hospital. It has become tradition for superstitious passersby to rub the boar's nose for luck.

 

12. Swedish sculptor Carl Milles added two quirky touches to his masterpiece, the William Volker Memorial Fountain. Look for an angel playing the flute from the wrong end and another wearing a wristwatch.

 

13. The Seville Light Fountain at the eastern entrance to the Country Club Plaza is often mistaken for an ornate lamppost. The Seville Light is a replica of a fountain in Seville, Spain, the original inspiration for the Plaza and now a sister city of Kansas City.