Ilus W. Davis Fountain
Owner: Kansas City Parks & Recreation Department
Artist/Designer: Sasaki Associates
Dates: Installed 2001, Dedicated November 15, 2001
The City of Fountains Foundation holds an endowment for this fountain.
AKA Ilus W. Davis Civic Mall Fountain, Ilus Winfield Davis Fountain
Ilus W. Davis Park was named after the man who served as mayor of Kansas City during the 1960s and is associated ith the city's growth and progress. The park strengths the north-south axis and adds softness and colour to the government district, often referred to as the Civil Mall, on the northeast side of downtown Kansas City.
The park features a large, shallow reflecting pool. A small fountain with a short water jets, due to the strong winds that tend to blow through the park, provides water that cascades down a stair-step style waterfall that feeds the reflecting pool. The park contains flowerbeds and more than 350 trees, including flowering crab, large red oaks and ginkgoes. The City Employees Memorial sits on the east side of the park along Locust Street. The Bill of Rights monument sits in the northeast corner of the park while a statue of Ilus Winfield Davis stands in the southwest corner.
First conceived and planned in the 1990s, the park cost about $15 million to build, including land acquisition and demolition of existing structures. The money came from local tax revenues, gambling revenues, federal funds and the local business community. Architect Cindy Frewen-Wuellner of Sasaki Associates, the architecture firm that designed the park, said, "It is a great place for civic events, which was one of our missions." The park is modeled after Post Office Square in Boston, a heavily used public area. Frewen-Wuellner decided to embrace the contour of the land which consists of a 36-foot rise rather than build retaining walls. The park was built by Vanum Construction Company of Kansas City, KS.