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WHO: City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation and City of Fountains Foundation
WHAT: Renovation of J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain
WHEN: Beginning December 2, 2014
WHERE: Mill Creek Park, Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd. and J.C. Nichols Parkway
PROJECT: The J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain is undergoing major renovation this winter. A fence will be placed around the fountain and the sculptures will be removed in order to replace the concrete bases. In addition, the fountain interior will be cleaned and repaired, and a waterproof coating applied. Damaged coping stones around the fountain will be repaired and/or replaced.
When the sculptures that form this fountain were originally brought to Kansas City in the 1950s, one of the small fish sculptures (called “Dolphins”) was missing. Many years earlier that piece had been separated from the others, and sold by the heirs to the abandoned Long Island Estate where the fountain originally was located. Its whereabouts were not known at that time. By the time the fountain was dedicated in 1960, a replacement sculpture was created and placed in the fountain, in the northeast quadrant. In 2008, the long-missing original sculpture came to light, and was brought to Kansas City in 2010 to eventually be reinstalled in the fountain.
Part of the present renovation project will include the restoration of the original “Fourth Dolphin” sculpture into the fountain. The Replacement Dolphin, which has been a part of the fountain for over 50 years, will be placed on a separate display nearby. The project will be completed in time for Fountain Day, April 14, 2015.
SUPPORT: The renovations are made possible by generous contributions to the City of Fountains Foundation’s Wish Upon a Fountain Campaign from the following: Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation; Water’s Edge Aquatic Design; JE Dunn Construction; and Grundfos Pumps Corporation.
The Wish Upon a Fountain Campaign goal is to generate $2.9 million in donations and pledges to restore nine fountains deemed in critical need of major repairs, and to preserve and endow the City’s 48 fountains, all of which need, or will soon need, repairs and upgrades that exceed the City’s limited maintenance budget.