Did You Know?

GENERAL

G1.  This country’s finest World War I monument, Kansas City’s Liberty Memorial sits across the street from the Union Station.  The Memorial was dedicated on Nov. 11, 1926.  Major renovations and repairs began in the late 1990s, including large additions to the museum and display areas.  It received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 2006 and recognition from Congress as the National World War I Museum and Memorial in 2014.

 

G2.  The Giralda Tower on the Plaza is based on La Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain.  Kansas City’s copy is one-half the size of the original tower.   On the original Spanish tower, the statue representing Faith at the top acts as a weather vane (Giraldillo means weather vane in Spanish).  There are no stairs in the Spanish tower, only ramps leading up to the top. 

 

FOUNTAINS

F1.  Like other great cities of the world, Kansas City, Missouri is a city with many fountains – both public and private.  Depending on what you want to count, you can find in excess of 200 fountains in the Kansas City Metro area.

F2.  Kansas City’s early public fountains evolved from the desire to supply clean water for animals.   When animals drank out of the same trough with still water, illnesses could easily be passed so the use of active running water was implemented.  Decorative fountains on private parks or on private property were evident as early as the 1870s.

F3.  The first Kansas City still-working public fountain was created and installed in 1899 and is located at Ninth and The Paseo.  Originally called the “Ninth Street Fountain” it was renamed the “Women’s Leadership Fountain” in 1991 to honor women civic leaders in Kansas City.

F4. The Northland fountain at North Oak Trafficway and Vivion Road is also known as the “Spirit of Cooperation” because funds were raised through a united effort of the public and private sector. It flows year-round and forms a winter ice sculpture that changes with the weather.

F5. Swedish sculptor Carl Milles based his memorial to William Volker on the legend of St. Martin of Tours, who shared his cloak with a beggar. Volker’s gifts to the city over his lifetime were estimated at $10 million.

F6.  The mythical figure of Bacchus in the Fountain of Bacchus in the Chandler Courtyard at 47th and Wyandotte on the Plaza was originally located on an estate in England.  This massive lead fountain weighs over 10,000 pounds.   

 

F7.  The Neptune Fountain on the Plaza was bought for the cost of junk lead (8,000 pounds at 22 cents per pound) by Miller Nichols in 1952 when the piece was brought to his attention by a local scrap metal dealer.  The fountain was installed on the Plaza in 1953. 

 

F8. The Eagle Scout Memorial Fountain sculpture was once located above the Seventh Avenue entrance to the original Pennsylvania Railroad Station in New York City. A clock hung in the center where the Eagle Scout emblem is today.

 

F9.  Water spills out of the mouths of fish caught in the net of the Muse of the Missouri Fountain at Eighth and Main Streets.  Notice the fish are hybrids with bluefish heads on the body of carp.  This fountain honors the memory of Lt. David Woods Kemper who was killed in World War II.

 

F10.  The most photographed fountain in Kansas City is the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain at J.C. Nichols Parkway and Emanuel Cleaver Boulevard.   There is no original information on the symbolism of the figures but it has been suggested that they represent four major world rivers – the Mississippi, the Volga, the Seine and the Rhine.

 

F11. A small statue on the Plaza entitled, April, represents a pre-schooler with a spirit of discovery as she pours water from a watering can on a bunch of spring flowers. It was sculpted by Santa Fe artist Glenna Goodacre, who also was the artist for the Vietnam Women’s Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C.

 

F12.  The Boy and Frog Fountain, made of bronze and Verona marble, is an original artwork by Rafaello Romanelli of Florence, Italy and purchased in 1929.

 

F13. At the corner of Wornall and Ward Parkway is a tall man-made waterfall that serves as a backdrop for Diana. Cherubs surround the Roman Goddess of the Moon above a pool of water.

F14.  Sculptor Tom Corbin, who designed the Children’s Fountain, used five local children as his models for this fountain in Kansas City.   It was dedicated in 1995 and renovated in 2015.

 

SCULPTURES

S1. Sculptor Cyrus Dallin created both The Scout in Penn Valley Park and Massasoit on the southeast corner of Main Street and Emanuel Cleaver Boulevard.

 In 1916 the Scout captured the hearts of Kansas Citians when it was put on temporary display in Penn Valley Park at the request of local attorney Delbert Haff who had seen it at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco where The Scout won a gold medal.  Residents raised $15,000 to purchase the sculpture, including children with nickels and dimes through a fund called “The Kids of Kansas City”.

Massasoit was donated to Kansas City by Miller and Jeanette Nichols in 1979.  Massasoit befriended the Pilgrims after they landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts in 1620.

S2. The Eagle at Ward Parkway and 67th Street originally stood in the courtyard of a Japanese temple and then as a guard outside the Japanese exhibit at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. It was installed in Kansas City in 1935.

S3.  You can sit beside Benjamin Franklin on his bench at 47th Street and Pennsylvania.  Two brass doves are perched on the back of the bench.  He is sitting there reading the Bill of Rights.

 

S4. Artist L.E. “Gus” Shafer used his own face as a model for The Wagon Master just east of the Intercontinental Hotel. You can listen to a recording about the activities of the wagon master on the trails and about the Civil War Battle of Westport by accessing the QR code on the plaque with your cell phone.

S5.  Married Love, at the northwest corner of the intersection of Wornall and Ward Parkway, is a sculpture of Sir Winston Churchill and his wife, Lady Clementine.  Behind the sculpture, there is a recording box that will play a speech by Winston Churchill when the button is pushed.

 

MEMORIALS

M1.  Monuments and markers to the Civil War Battle of Westport are located in several places.   The battle occurred from October 21 – 23, 1864 and was the largest Civil War battle west of the Mississippi.  Commemorative plaques and monuments are located at 4800 E. 63rd St.; The Paseo and Meyer Boulevard; in Loose Park north of the Rose Garden and adjacent to 52nd Street, and also in Loose Park on the south side of the Park at 55th Street and Pennsylvania.

M2.  Kansas City has two Avenues of Trees that memorialize veterans and those who were lost during World Wars I and II.

One is located on Ward Parkway, south of Meyer Circle.  In 1930, ceremonies were held on November 11th to dedicate 441 white elm trees to Kansas Citians who were lost during World War I, including one woman.  A stone gateway with bronze plaques giving the names of the fallen was at Meyer Boulevard.  A flagpole was placed there in 1940.

The other Avenue of Trees is at the Liberty Memorial.  While the Memorial itself is dedicated to those who fought in World War I, many trees on the grounds were planted during the 1940s beginning in 1942 to honor Kansas Citians who had given their lives in World War II.

M3.  In April 1968, a memorial was erected in memory of Salvatore Grisafe, a 17-year old student who was killed trying to prevent a robbery of two women.  The memorial sculpture, located at 16th and The Paseo and created by artist Jac T. Bowen, is an abstract representation of a youth raising his arms to strive for greater goals.  A plaque on the sculpture reads:  “An example of Good Citizenship."

M4. The President John F. Kennedy Memorial on The Concourse at St. John Avenue and Gladstone Boulevard, donated by the Campo-Manfre-Barbieri American Legion Post in 1965, was the first memorial in Kansas City to the assassinated President.  There is an eternal flame on the top of the memorial.

M5.  There are two memorials to Dr. William T. Fitzsimons, the first American officer killed in World War I.  Both are located on The Paseo.  The one located at 12th Street was dedicated in 1922 as a drinking fountain on an existing decorative structure.  The other, at Volker Boulevard, is the Fitzsimons-Battenfeld Monument.  Dr. Fitzsimons from World War I is honored, as is Jesse Battenfeld, a naval flight surgeon who died in 1942 during World War II.

 

M6.  The Swope Memorial Golf Course is not only a golf course in Swope Park but also contains the Thomas Swope Memorial, burial place of Thomas Swope who donated over 1300 acres for the park in 1896.  The memorial was designed by Mr. Swope himself although he was not originally buried there due to the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death.

Did You Know?

GENERAL

G1.  This country’s finest World War I monument, Kansas City’s Liberty Memorial sits across the street from the Union Station.  The Memorial was dedicated on November 11, 1926.  Major renovations and repairs began in the late 1990s, including large additions to the museum and display areas.  It received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 2006 and recognition from Congress as the National World War I Museum and Memorial in 2014.

 

G2.  The Giralda Tower on the Plaza is based on La Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain.  Kansas City’s copy is one-half the size of the original tower.   On the original Spanish tower, the statue representing Faith at the top acts as a weather vane (Giraldillo means weather vane in Spanish).  There are no stairs in the Spanish tower, only ramps leading up to the top. 

 

FOUNTAINS

F1.  Like other great cities of the world, Kansas City, Missouri is a city with many fountains – both public and private.  Depending on what you want to count, you can find in excess of 200 fountains in the Kansas City Metro area.

F2.  Kansas City’s early public fountains evolved from the desire to supply clean water for animals.   When animals drank out of the same trough with still water, illnesses could easily be passed so the use of active running water was implemented.  Decorative fountains on private parks or on private property were evident as early as the 1870s.

F3.  The first Kansas City still-working public fountain was created and installed in 1899 and is located at Ninth and The Paseo.  Originally called the “Ninth Street Fountain”  it was renamed the Women’s Leadership Fountain  in 1991 to honor women civic leaders in Kansas City.

F4. The Northland Fountain at North Oak Trafficway and Vivion Road is also known as the “Spirit of Cooperation” because funds were raised through a united effort of the public and private sector. It flows year-round and forms a winter ice sculpture that changes with the weather.

F5. Swedish sculptor Carl Milles based his memorial to William Volker on the legend of St. Martin of Tours, who shared his cloak with a beggar. Volker’s gifts to the city over his lifetime were estimated at $10 million.

F6. The mythical figure of Bacchus in the Fountain of Bacchus in the Chandler Courtyard at 47th and Wyandotte on the Plaza was originally located on an estate in England.  This massive lead fountain weighs over 10,000 pounds.   

 

F7. The Neptune Fountain on the Plaza was bought for the cost of junk lead (8,000 pounds at 22 cents per pound) by Miller Nichols in 1952 when the piece was brought to his attention by a local scrap metal dealer.  The fountain was installed on the Plaza in 1953. 

 

F8. The Eagle Scout Tribute Fountain sculpture was once located above the Seventh Avenue entrance to the original Pennsylvania Railroad Station in New York City. A clock hung in the center where the Eagle Scout emblem is today.

 

F9. Water spills out of the mouths of fish caught in the net of the Muse of the Missouri  at Eighth and Main Streets.  Notice the fish are hybrids with bluefish heads on the body of carp.  This fountain honors the memory of Lt. David Woods Kemper who was killed in World War II.

 

F10. The most photographed fountain in Kansas City is the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain at J.C. Nichols Parkway and Emanuel Cleaver Boulevard.   There is no original information on the symbolism of the figures but it has been suggested that they represent four major world rivers – the Mississippi, the Volga, the Seine and the Rhine.

 

F11. A small statue on the Plaza entitled April represents a pre-schooler with a spirit of discovery as she pours water from a watering can on a bunch of spring flowers. It was sculpted by Santa Fe artist Glenna Goodacre, who also was the artist for the Vietnam Women’s Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C.

 

F12. The Boy and Frog Fountain, made of bronze and Verona marble, is an original artwork by Rafaello Romanelli of Florence, Italy and purchased in 1929.

 

F13. At the corner of Wornall and Ward Parkway is a tall man-made waterfall that serves as a backdrop for Diana. Cherubs surround the Roman Goddess of the Moon above a pool of water.

F14. Sculptor Tom Corbin, who designed the Children’s Fountain, used five local children as his models for this fountain in Kansas City.   It was dedicated in 1995 and renovated in 2015.

 

SCULPTURES

S1. Sculptor Cyrus Dallin created both The Scout in Penn Valley Park and Massasoit on the southeast corner of Main Street and Emanuel Cleaver Boulevard.

In 1916, The Scout captured the hearts of Kansas Citians when it was put on temporary display in Penn Valley Park at the request of local attorney Delbert Haff who had seen it at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco where The Scout won a gold medal.  Residents raised $15,000 to purchase the sculpture, including children with nickels and dimes through a fund called “The Kids of Kansas City”.

Massasoit was donated to Kansas City by Miller and Jeanette Nichols in 1979.  Massasoit befriended the Pilgrims after they landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts in 1620.

S2. The Eagle at Ward Parkway and 67th Street originally stood in the courtyard of a Japanese temple and then as a guard outside the Japanese exhibit at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. It was installed in Kansas City in 1935.

S3. You can sit beside Ben Franklin on his bench at 47th Street and Pennsylvania.  Two brass doves are perched on the back of the bench.  He is sitting there reading the Bill of Rights.

 

S4. Artist L.E. “Gus” Shafer used his own face as a model for The Wagon Master just east of the Intercontinental Hotel. You can listen to a recording about the activities of the wagon master on the trails and about the Civil War Battle of Westport by accessing the QR code on the plaque with your cell phone.

S5. Married Love, at the northwest corner of the intersection of Wornall and Ward Parkway, is a sculpture of Sir Winston Churchill and his wife, Lady Clementine.  Behind the sculpture, there is a recording box that will play a speech by Winston Churchill when the button is pushed.

 

MEMORIALS

M1.  Monuments and markers to the Civil War Battle of Westport are located in several places.   The battle occurred from October 21 – 23, 1864 and was the largest Civil War battle west of the Mississippi.  Commemorative plaques and monuments are located at 4800 E. 63rd St.; The Paseo and Meyer Boulevard; in Loose Park north of the Rose Garden and adjacent to 52nd Street, and also in Loose Park on the south side of the Park at 55th Street and Pennsylvania.

M2.  Kansas City has two Avenues of Trees that memorialize veterans and those who were lost during World Wars I and II.

One is located on Ward Parkway, south of Meyer Circle.  In 1930, ceremonies were held on November 11th to dedicate 441 white elm trees to Kansas Citians who were lost during World War I, including one woman.  A stone gateway with bronze plaques giving the names of the fallen was at Meyer Boulevard.  A flagpole was placed there in 1940.

The other Avenue of Trees is at the Liberty Memorial.  While the Memorial itself is dedicated to those who fought in World War I, many trees on the grounds were planted during the 1940s beginning in 1942 to honor Kansas Citians who had given their lives in World War II.

M3.  In April 1968, a memorial was erected in memory of Salvatore Grisafe, a 17-year old student who was killed trying to prevent a robbery of two women.  The memorial sculpture, located at 16th and The Paseo and created by artist Jac T. Bowen, is an abstract representation of a youth raising his arms to strive for greater goals.  A plaque on the sculpture dedicates the sculpture to "those citizens who believe in the principles of law, order, and good citizenship as best exemplified by Salvatore Grisafe."

M4. The President John F. Kennedy Memorial on The Concourse at St. John Avenue and Gladstone Boulevard, donated by the Campo-Manfre-Barbieri American Legion Post in 1965, was the first memorial in Kansas City to the assassinated President.  There is an eternal flame on the top of the memorial.

M5.  There are two memorials to Dr. William T. Fitzsimons, the first American officer killed in World War I.  Both are located on The Paseo.  The one located at 12th Street was dedicated in 1922 as a drinking fountain on an existing decorative structure.  The other, at Volker Boulevard, is the Fitzsimons-Battenfeld Monument.  Dr. Fitzsimons from World War I is honored, as is Jesse Battenfeld, a naval flight surgeon who died in 1942 during World War II.

 

M6.  The Swope Memorial Golf Course is not only a golf course in Swope Park but also contains the Thomas Swope Memorial, burial place of Thomas Swope who donated over 1300 acres for the park in 1896.  The memorial was designed by Mr. Swope himself although he was not originally buried there due to the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death.

You can download this page in PDF form by clicking on the icon to the right.

The City of Fountains Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to the conservation of the historic fountains and sculptures in the Kansas City area. 

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