Fountains

Laura Spencer / KCUR

The bronze figures on horseback and children riding fish that are part of the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain near the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo., will be removed Wednesday for an extensive renovation.

"This is the iconic fountain for Kansas City," says Jocelyn Ball-Edson, landscape architect for the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department. "We have a lot of fountains. We love them all, but this is probably the one that gets the most photography and the most visibility."

WhiteRabbitArt / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Just as many fountains as Rome? Perhaps. Whether Kansas City meets or falls short of these accolades the fountains, which began as a practical tool for keeping horses hydrated, have turned into a unique symbol of regional identity and pride. 

But, these fountains are at risk.  With decreasing city parks budgets maintaining these iconic fountains has been difficult. Currently, over half are in need of maintenance and a fourth are in critical condition.

Crown Center Bans Water Play In Fountains

Jun 12, 2012
flickr/Kansas Explorer 3128

Crown Center's massively popular fountain display is officially off limits for play in the sprays. A release issued today says, "effective immediately, people will no longer be allowed in the Crown Center Square Fountain."

Rozzelle Court Fountain
Photo by Tomeka Weatherspoon

Curator Robert Cohen talks about the Roman fountain in the Rozzelle Court Restaurant at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

A Closer Look At KC's Most Photographed Fountain

May 2, 2012
A Horse in the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain
Photo by Tomeka Weatherspoon

Jocelyn Ball-Edson from KC's Parks and Rec gives a short history, critique of the J. C. Nichols Memorial Fountain, which is widely recognized as one of the city's most popular attractions.

Plus, hear what's next on the horizon for the attraction.

Local Fountain Sculptor Gives Background To Popular Works

May 2, 2012
Kauffman Gardens Fountain
Photo: flickr/ChrisM70

Click below to hear local sculptor Tom Corbin sharing stories about a few of his big works around town.

Fountain City: A Search for Water

May 1, 2012
J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain
Photo by Tomeka Weatherspoon

On Thursday's Central Standard, we dive into our first of three programs exploring how we seek out water in this part of the country. First up: fountains. Learn how to get involved in our photography contest, and our interactive water map.

If you live in KC, you’d have to drive hours to see the nearest waterfall. At least eight hours to sail on one of the Great Lakes. Drive a thousand miles to see the nearest ocean… water is an exotic luxury in this middle-American city. Is that why we’ve got all these fountains around?

KC Fountains Turned On After Annual Ceremony

Apr 13, 2012
Tomeka Weatherspoon / KCUR

Many of the city's fountains were turned on Tuesday, following the annual Fountain Day celebration. The ceremony was held at the Marlborough Fountain, located at 79th and Paseo.

It's a popular saying in our town that only Rome has more public fountains than Kansas City.