Dedicated in 1927, it is one of the largest fountains in the world, called Buckingham Fountain, a Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park in the downtown central district. Built in a rococo (ornamental) wedding cake style, it was inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles.

It was designed to allegorically represent nearby Lake Michigan that borders the city. From May until October, it operates with regular water shows and evening color-light shows. During the winter months, the fountain is decorated with festival lights.

Fours sets of sea horses (two per set) symbolize the four states that border Lake Michigan- Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.

The fountain was designed by ‘beaux arts’ architect and Chicago city planner Edward H. Bennett (1874-1954).

When completed, the fountain construction cost was $750,000. It was donated to the city by Kate Sturges Buckingham (1858-1937), an American art collector and philanthropist, in memory of her brother, Clarence Buckingham. The official name of the fountain is the ‘Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain’. Kate also established an endowment fund with an initial investment of $300,000 to pay for maintenance and upkeep.

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