Laura Conyers Smith Rose Garden Fountain

August 28, 2016

Location: Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden, Loose Park, W 51st Street and Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO


Owner: KCMO Parks & Recreation Department


Dates: Dedicated August 2002


Artist/Designer:  Theis Doolittle Associates, architects; Water's Edge Aquatic Design, engineering


The City of Fountains Foundation holds an endowment for this fountain.



The Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden at Loose Park has contained a water feature since the 1930s.  The original design for the rose garden included a small lily pool in the center of the garden, which was built and dedicated in 1936.  In 1939, a sculpture entitled "Spirit of the Rose Garden" was placed in the pool with gentle sprays of water at her feet.  Her sculptor was Walter Rosenbauer, who was also an instructor at the Kansas City Art Institute.  "Spirit of the Rose Garden" remained there until the early 1950s.


In the late 1970s, a modernistic-style fountain was donated in memory of Florence L. Nelson by the Oscar D. and Florence L. Nelson Fund.  The center water feature and the surrounding steel poles with their water sprays were meant to represent flowers and blossoms.  That fountain was dedicated in 1980 and remained there until 2001.


The Kansas City Rose Society began raising funds for the creation and purchase of a new fountain in 2001.  Dedicated in August 2002, the fountain bowl is of a classic design and carved of buff-colored stone from Vincenza, Italy.  The bill for the new fountain and its installation was $750,000 and was paid for by private donations.  New sidewalks, lights and a renovated pool were also part of the project.


The rose garden features walking paths, pegolas, benches and, of course, roses of many different species and colours.  It is in the northwest part of Loose Park








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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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