Artist/Designer: William Ayers and J. Klos WPA Project
In the 1890’s, Delbert Haff became an essential influence in the direction that the Kansas City Park Board has evolved today. A circle outside Swope Park was dedicated to this pioneer. The mirror pool was designed with a low retaining wall of coursed stone. In 1966, it was equipped with a center spraying ring and seven vertical jets that operate year round. This fountain welcomes visitors to the entrance of Swope Park and pays tribute to one of Kansas City’s most influential proponents of the local parks system.
The centerpiece of the memorial is a bust which faces east, toward Swope Park. It its on a stone base 52″ high and is shielded on top and the sides by a 94″ high stone canopy. The unpolished stone is reddish-brown. The sculpture is at the far west end of 600 foot-long Haff traffic circle. Fifteen feet in front of the bust is a 160′ long by 60′ wide pool and fountain. The area is landscaped with flowers and benches.
DELBERT J. HAFF 1859 TO 1943, LAWYER, PARK COMMISSIONER FROM 1908 TO 1912 AND EARLY PIONEER FOR THE KANSAS CITY PARK DEPARTMENT. DELBERT J. HAFF WAS RETAINED IN 1893 BY THE CITY’S FIRST PARK BOARD. HE WAS LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR SOLVING THE FINANCIAL AND LEGAL PROBLEMS FACING THE FIRST PARK BOARD.