Buckingham Fountain, Chicago

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago (must see)

Situated at the very heart of the city's bustling downtown business district, Grant Park boasts an exquisite centerpiece. This fountain, one of the largest in the world, was generously presented to Chicago by the philanthropic Kate Sturges Buckingham in honor of her brother. Both siblings were passionate art collectors, as their family had amassed wealth through a grain elevator business.

Crafted in the classical Fine Arts style, this fountain is a sculptural masterpiece resembling a three-tiered wedding cake, adorned with intricate pink-marble seashell motifs, whimsical water-spouting fish, and four bronze sculptures of sea horses, symbolizing the four states surrounding Lake Michigan. Its construction in 1927 drew inspiration from a fountain in Versailles, though it is about twice the size.

For the most captivating experience, visit the fountain from early May to mid-October when it dazzles with elaborate nighttime illumination, casting vibrant hues upon its waters. Stay a while, and you'll be treated to a spectacular show that occurs every hour on the hour, with the central water jet soaring an impressive 150 feet into the sky.

Tip:
Notable statues in close proximity are also worth your attention. Just west of the fountain, across Columbus Avenue, you'll find the seated Lincoln statue, positioned atop a pedestal, surveying the park. Created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, this statue was unveiled in 1926 and exudes a more subdued presence. Along Congress Parkway near Michigan Avenue, you'll encounter The Bowman and the Spearman, a remarkable pair of 17-foot-tall bronze Indian warriors sculpted by Ivan Mestrovic.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Chicago. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Buckingham Fountain on Map

Sight Name: Buckingham Fountain
Sight Location: Chicago, USA (See walking tours in Chicago)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Chicago, Illinois

Create Your Own Walk in Chicago

Create Your Own Walk in Chicago

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Chicago Old Town Walking Tour

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Chicago Navy Pier Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
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Founded in 1890, the University of Chicago is among the world’s most prestigious educational institutions. As of 2020, the University’s students, faculty and staff have included 100 Nobel laureates, giving it the fourth-most affiliated Nobel laureates of any university.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles

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