Grant Park - Buckingham Fountain, Chicago

4.5 out of 5 stars 61 Reviews

500 S Lake Shore Dr 312-742-7529

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  • Grant Park - Buckingham Fountain
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  • Grant Park - Buckingham Fountain
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  • Marisola's Profile Photo

    Make a Wish!

    by Marisola Updated Jul 21, 2006

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    Take a walk through Grant Park to Buckingham Fountain, between Columbus and Lake Shore Drive. Take some beautiful photos here. While patterned on the fountain in Versailles, it is twice as big! The fountains run May through September. They vary in levels higher and lower at different times, and if you stand on the windy side, you will catch a nice shower! Lights up at night, too! Don't forget to throw in a penny and make a wish!

    Marie at Buckingham Fountain Marie at Buckingham Fountain
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  • Grant Park

    by CoAir13 Written Feb 15, 2004

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    Not so much the fountain, but the park itself is worth a visit. Great place to relax after a busy day in the city. The fountain was built in 1927, funded by philanthropist Kate Buckingham, in memory of her brother. Another example of the fine architecture of Chicago. Designated an official landmark in 2000.

    Buckingham Fountain

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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Beautiful Buckingham Memorial Fountain & Garden

    by deecat Updated Dec 10, 2003

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    Buckingham Fountain is bounded by Lake Shore, Balbo, Columbus, and Jackson drives. It was designated a CHICAGO LANDMARK on August of 2000.
    Kate Buckingham, philanthropist, funded the fountain in memory of her brother. She left enough money in an account (collecting interest) to maintain and repair the monument for many years to come.
    I think that Buckingham Fountain is an "icon of Chicago." It's right in the visual center of Grant Park and sets within a lovely landscaped garden.
    Not only is it beautiful with decorative detail and finely wrought bronze sculpture, but it is also known for its "innovative use of technology which creates a dynamic light and water display on a massive scale." (Chicago Landmarks)
    My picture was taken at night when these dynamic lights are visible. However, I think that you should see it at night and in the daytime because it looks completely different at those two times.

    Buckingham Fountain at Night
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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    Marina

    by micas_pt Updated Feb 1, 2004

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    While walking in Grant Park towards Chicago River, I came across this lovely Marina. It is a very pleasant place for a stroll and if you visit during weekdays (morning) it is most peaceful. Only "locals" I met here were a bunch of clumsy ducks! If weather is good you will enjoy magnificent views over the city's skyline and to the Navy Per, not to mention the Marina itself and the Lake. Along the shore there are benches where you can sit for a while and enjoy the place or read a book.

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    Buckingham Fountain

    by micas_pt Updated Jan 17, 2004

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    Buckingham Fountain is one of the Grant Park’s attractions. It was built after a fountain in Versailles and was donated to Chicago by Kate Buckingham as a tribute to her brother Clarence, director of the Art Institute of Chicago. This fountain, during summer season, performs an interesting show every night: the jets of water are thrown 41m high and illuminated with yellow, pink, green and blue lights, entitling the spectators with an interesting kinetic effect.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Top 10-Buckingham Fountain

    by Dabs Updated Apr 26, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Buckingham Fountain had a major multi million dollar facelift in 2008/2009 and was reopened in April 2009.

    Buckingham Fountain is one of the most recognizable symbols of Chicago, both because of it's lakefront/Grant Park location and it's appearance at the beginning of "Married with Children" which has given it the nickname of the Bundy Fountain.

    The fountain is active from mid April to mid October, depending on the weather, from 8 am to 11 pm daily.

    Every hour on the hour for 20 minutes the fountain has a major water display with the center jet shooting 150 feet into the air. Beginning at dusk, the hourly major water display is accompanied by a light and music display. The final display of the evening begins at 10:00 p.m. I've heard that they shoot fireworks off from there on New Year's Eve but have never personally seen it.

    At one time the fountain was actually operated by computer from Atlanta but the computer was moved to Chicago in 1994 when the fountain was renovated.

    The fountain was a gift to Chicago from heiress (family fortune was in grain elevators and banking) Kate Buckingham in 1927 in memory of her late brother, Clarence. A $300,000 trust fund was established at the time for repair and upkeep. A $2.8 million restoration was done in 1994; the funds came from the Buckingham Fountain Endowment Fund.

    It is built of Georgia pink marble and patterned on the Latona Basin in the gardens of Louis XIV's palace at Versailles. It was designed by Edward H. Bennett who also helped design Wacker Drive and the Michigan Avenue bridge; the four bronze sea horses symbolize the four states that touch the lake: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

    Buckingham Fountain Buckingham Fountain Buckingham Fountain

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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    Grant Park

    by micas_pt Updated Jan 31, 2004

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    Grant Park is situated between (South) Michigan Avenue and the Lake Michigan. Actually it was near my hotel so I visited it often, as it is a quiet place to rest, read and observe passers-by, as long as Chicago’s weather allows!! Apart from the mentioned “activities”, while in Grant Park you should see Buckingham Fountain and the Petrillo Music Shell, where free concerts take place. Grant Park is known to have been the centre of the Anti-War riots in 1968, during Democratic National Convention.

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  • TRimer's Profile Photo

    Grant Park Meeting Place

    by TRimer Updated Jul 1, 2005

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    Most Chicagoans know Buckingham Fountain as "the meeting place" during the summer when going to events in Grant Park (i.e. the Taste, concerts, etc.)

    The Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain is a spectacular sight during the warmer months in Chicago (the fountain is turned off during the Winter). The fountain produces a major water display every hour on the hour for approximately 20 minutes (from 10am to 11pm). Every minute, 133 jets spray approximately 14,000 gallons of water into the air. The center jet shoots water 150 feet into the air. 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.

    The fountain has four bronze sea horses that represent the four states that touch Lake Michigan- Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana.

    Year Built: 1927
    Architect: Bennett, Parsons & Frost with Jacques Lambert
    Sculptor: Marcel Francois Loyau
    Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: August 30, 2000

    Buckingham Fountain
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  • Martman's Profile Photo

    Grant Park: Buckingham Fountain

    by Martman Updated Sep 8, 2006

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    This stunning fountain was donated to the city of Chicago by Kate Buckingham in memory of her brother, Clarence Buckingham. It was built in 1927. The fountain is in the centre of Grant Park, with proximity to Millennium Park.

    The fountain is activated between 10am and 10pm from 1 April to 1 November each year. The fountain's impressive light and water display is from 9pm to 10pm.

    The fountain contains (1.5 million US galloons /5700 litres) of water. During a display, over 14,000 US gallons per minute is pushed through the 133 jets. Buckingham Fountain is hence also one of the largest fountains in the world.

    Trust me, this is not just a fountain. It is really nice! Seeing my pictures of the fountain is wonderful. Seeing the beautiful fountain by actually being there, is even better! :)

    Buckingham Fountain Enjoy the beautiful colors Me by Buckingham Fountain + city skyline at night More distant view of fountain and city

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Public art-Agora

    by Dabs Updated Apr 1, 2007

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    Chicago's newest piece of public art is located at the south end of Grant Park around Roosevelt and Michigan, installed in November 2006.

    Created by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz and presented as a gift to the city of Chicago, "Agora" consists of 106 headless, armless cast iron torsos, all standing 9 feet tall.

    Agora is the Greek word for meeting or market place, quite honestly I was left scratching my head as to the artist's meaning or why it is here in Chicago. Abakanowicz has said "These aren't really people. They are shell-like negatives of the human form. Think of them as bark falling off a tree." Doesn't provide a lot of insight, does it?

    So as with much modern art, I guess it's up to the viewer's imagination as to whether or not this piece speaks to them....

    Agora Agora Agora

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  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Grant Park

    by goingsolo Updated Jun 1, 2005

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    While touring downtown Chicago, be sure to stop in this park and wander around for a bit. Grant Park is another of Chicago's beautiful public parks located in downtown. The park borders Lakeshore Drive and contains a few interesting sights to see.

    The rose gardens, which are open in the summer, and the wildflower area, which contains a field of color, are great places to step away from the sometimes maddening crowds for a bit. The park's centerpiece is Buckingham fountain which erupts in a high spray of water every hour of so. Grant Park also contains its share of statues and other interesting visual displays, including Abraham Lincoln, as well as the stock exchange arch.

    Chicago
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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Public art-Ivan Mestrovic's Spearman and Bowman

    by Dabs Updated Aug 24, 2008

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    Most Chicagoans know the names of the more famous artists who have public sculptures in Chicago, Picasso, Calder and Chagall and perhaps even Miro but even given the prominent location of The Spearman and The Bowman on Congress Parkway and Michigan Avenue in Grant Park, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who could spit out much less pronouce correctly the name of Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic whose better known works are scattered throughout his native country.

    His two art deco sculptures were erected in Grant Park in 1928, commissioned by the Art Institute. The warriors were intended to represent the dynamism and energy of the New World. The statues were cast at the artist's studio in Zagreb, he felt he couldn't find the level of skill necessary anywhere but Croatia. He eventually moved to the US in 1947 after having been imprisoned by the Croatian government during WWII, he taught sculpture at Syracuse University in New York and Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana which is currently raising funds to open an art museum that will have a gallery devoted to him.

    An article in the Chicago Tribune finally answered something I long wondered about, why was it that the Spearman had no spear and the bowman had no bow? According to the article, the original sketches did have the weapons but he eliminated them when he started working on the models because he wanted to put more emphasis on the human body.

    The Spearman The Bowman
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  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Chicago's Beautiful Grant Park

    by spgood301 Updated Aug 10, 2006

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    Spend a most relaxing Chicago day at the big, beautiful Grant Park, right on Lake Michigan. It's one of the coolest places in Chicago...and, with its lakeside location, it's really true.

    Walk, jog, bike, rollerblade, or just chill out in the sun with a good book. And make sure to admire the view. The lake on one side, the city skyline on the other, & all of that beautiful foliage in between. You can't beat it.

    Grant Park also hosts many festivals, especially during the summer. The Blues Festival. Taste of Chicago. The Country Music Festival. Just to name a few. And, in 2006, Lollapallooza was held here. A busy place, this Grant Park.

    A word of warning: certain festivals, especially Taste of Chicago are VERY popular. If you don't like crowds, you may want to keep that in mind. Taste happens for a week each summer.

    That said, Grant Park is waiting for you!

    Skyline View from Grant Park & Museum Campus Another city view from Grant Park

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  • PetraG's Profile Photo

    Getting wet

    by PetraG Written Jan 16, 2006

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    The Buckingham Fountain, located in Grant Park, is one of Chicago's most popular attractions and one of the largest fountains in the world. It was opened in May of 1927. The four sea horses you see on its sides represent the four states that touch Lake Michigan: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

    The fountain operates from approximately April 1 to November 1 each year and runs from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm each day. Every hour on the hour for 20 minutes the fountain produces a major water display and the center jet shoots 150 feet into the air. At dusk, the fountain's hourly major water display is accompanied by lights and music.

    The fountain's water capacity is 1.5 million gallons. Depending on wind conditions, major displays use approximately 14,100 gallons of recirculated water per minute conveyed through 134 jets. The fountain contains 820 lights.

    Buckingham Fountain Chicago Buckingham Fountain Windy fountain...

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  • garridogal's Profile Photo

    Beautiful Fountain

    by garridogal Written Aug 23, 2005

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    Okay, I'll admit I wanted to see this fountain because of the opening to "Married with Children" but seeing it in person I can now say that it's a beautiful fountain in a beautiful and well kept park!

    Like a horse 'n carriage.... Tacky Tourists...
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