Visit Chicago Illinois
Visit Chicago Illinois
Buckingham Fountain

The Buckingham Memorial Fountain in Chicago

Chicago, IL 60605

(312) 742-7529

Written by Julie Greiner
The fountain of fountains is located at Columbus Drive and Congress Parkway in Grant Park in Chicago. Buckingham Fountain opened in 1927 and is still one of the largest fountains in the world. The fountain produces a major water display every hour on the hour for approximately 20 minutes. Every minute, 133 jets spray approximately 14,000 gallons of water into the air. The center jet shoots water 150 feet into the air. The fountain water display operates from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Beginning at dusk the water display is accompanied by a major light and music performance. There are
820 lights choreographed with the water and music. Although the fountain is turned off in the winter, there is a holiday light and music presentation.

History of Buckingham Memorial Fountain in Grant Park

The fountain was donated by Kate Buckingham in honor of her brother Clarence in 1927. The fountain was the largest in the world at the time it was built, and is Buckingham Fountain still one of the largest some 75 years later. Edward H. Bennett designed the fountain and it was built by Marcel Loyau. The fountain was meant to represent Lake
Buckingham Fountain
Michigan and the four states that touch the lake - being Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. The fountain is constructed of Georgia pink marble. The water is powered by three pumps, 134 jets and has a water capacity of 1.5 million gallons. To give a vision of just how large the fountain is - the bottom pool is 280 feet in diameter, the lower basin is 103 feet. the upper basin is 24 feet and the upper basin is 25 feet above the lower basin.

Sculptures of Buckingham Fountain

The fountain has four bronze sea horses that represent the four states that touch Lake
Michigan - Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Sculptor Marcel Francois Loyau was inspired by the Latona Basin in the gardens of Versailles and created the fountain with Art Deco style seahorses instead of realistic looking horses. At the time of the presentation of the fountain a trust fund was established of $300,000 to fund the repairs and upkeep costs, as not to be a burden on the tax payers. This fund covered the $2.8 million restoration costs in 1994. When Kate Buckingham first envisioned the fountain she
Buckingham Fountain
wanted the effect of "soft moonlight."

The Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain located in Grant Park is an ideal place to relax and enjoy a cool breeze from the lake and the mist from the fountain. This is one of Chicago's most popular attractions and a favorite meeting place for locals and tourists alike. What insight Kate Buckingham had in erecting a truly wonderful memorial to her brother and an absolutely delightful gift to her fellow Chicagoans.

Analytical Software Packages, Inc.
Analytical Software Packages, Inc.

Copyright © 2002-2014
Last Updated: October 1, 2014