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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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! :)
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.
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!
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.
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!
Chicago really is a feast for the eyes, especially in the spring and summer. Fresh green parks surrounded by Chicago's amazing architecture make it, in my opinion, America's most visually beautiful city.
In the middle of Grant Park lies Buckingham Fountain, a visual and architectural delight in itself. From close-up or far away, it's an urban oasis, framed by green trees and tall buildings - especially the Aon Building, Chicago's 2nd tallest. Spend a few minutes admiring the beautifully engraved fountain itself, and just sit and relax. It's a special place, rather romantic too I'm sure (not that I would know of course heeheeee) - and it's right near the lakefront too.
By the way, if you're a TV fan, you may recognize Buckingham Fountain from the opening of the show "Married with Children", whose theme song was Sinatra's "Love and Marriage". In fact, you may end up singing it while you're there.
The centerpiece of Grant Park, a Chicago icon and one of the most beautiful fountains in the world, the Beaux-Arts Buckingham Fountain was completed in 1927 and funded by local philanthropist Kate Buckingham. Highly decorated detail-work makes it a must visit, even if the water's shut off, as it is from November until April. Every twenty minutes, water jets 150 into the air and from dusk until 10 a light and music show commences every half-hour. If you've ever wanted to be background fodder in other people's pictures this is the place to be.