Eagle Scout Tribute Fountain
Owner: KCMO Parks & Recreation Department
Dates: Dedicated October 6, 1968; Renovated 2013
Artist/Designer: Adolph Weinman (sculpture), Maurice McMullen (architect for site and fountain)
The City of Fountains Foundation holds an endowment for this fountain.
The Eagle Scout Tribute Fountain is set against the backdrop of a 22-foot high marble sculpture by Adolph Weinman. The sculpture consists of a large wreath bordered on both sides by a woman and an eagle. The women represent Day and Night. Within the wreath, an enlarged Boy Scout Eagle Badge is displayed. A two-tiered fountain pool and two winding concrete staircases complete the monument.
The sculpture once stood over the Seventh Street entrance to the Pennsylvania Railroad Station in New York City - once billed as "the largest structure in the world devoted solely to the use and convenience of railroad passenger" - from 1910 until the station closed in 1963 and the building demolished. A large clock was within the wreath welcoming travelers and commuters to the station.
Eagle Badges were first awarded in 1912 to Scouts of the highest achievement. The badge features a silver eagle suspended from a red, white and blue scroll. A knot hangs from the scroll signifying the Scout slogan: "Do a Good Turn Daily."
In 1966, Kansas City businessman and National Boy Scout executive John W. "Twink" Starr arranged through a friend at the Pennsylvania Railroad to have the sculpture brought to Kansas City when the station in New York was demolished. Kansas City architect Maurice McMullen designed the setting for the historic sculpture and included a fountain with two spiral stairways to complete the memorial. Starr, with his wife, Martha Jane Phillips Starr, and other supporters of the Boy Scouts provided the funds to construct the fountain. Hoffman Cortez Construction completed the work in 1968.
In 2013, an additional gift by the Martha Jane Phillips Starr Donor Advised Fund provided the funds to pay for renovations, upgrades, sculpture restoration and site work at the landmark fountain. The landscaping is partially maintained by local Scouts.