Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Water Fountain Destination

So, you're a travelling kind of person. And you like your own indoor water fountain and you're likely to enjoy checking out the famous water fountains found at your destination. No matter your urban choice, chances are that you'll have an opportunity to check out a local water fountain.

Some fountains have their roots in history, others will be unique in design and others may have elements of both and are (for good reasons) favorites of and frequented by the locals.

Did you know that Rome is the "Fountain Capital" of the world? There are about 268 water fountains in that city, and I will be addressing some of them as well as many others outside the US in future posts. However you don't have to travel very far to experience wonderful fountains.

This post will cover a famous fountain in my hometown, Chicago. The fountain? Buckingham.

Located in Grant Park, between the downtown buildings and the Lake Michigan shoreline, it has been a local favorite and a tourist attraction since it was placed into service in 1927.

*Constructed of Georgia pink marble.
*Arranged in three tiers: the bottom pool's diameter is 280 feet; the lower basin is 103 feet; the upper basin's is 24 feet
*The eight of the upper basin is 25 feet above the lower basin.
*It utilizes about 1.5 million gallons of water; 133 jets spray 14,000 gallons
of water per minute as high as 135 feet in the air.
*It is modeled after but is double the size of the Latona Fountain at Versailles.
*There four Art Deco style bronze sea horses that surround it that symbolize the four states that touch Lake Michigan: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
*The spray patterns are now computer controlled as are the lights at night.
*Operates from late Spring, thru mid-Fall.

The fountain looks quite nice nduring the day, but it is after dark that it offers its most spectacular presentation:

I hope that you'll have a wonderful day in Chicago, an awesome meal in one of Chicago's outstanding restaurants (perhaps a Chicago-Style deep-dish pizza?) and then take your time strolling around the fountain in the balmy Chicago late evening.

As you view Buckingham Fountain, take some time to think about it's cousin, the indoor water fountain in your home or the outdoor-type in your yard. Perhaps not as spectacular, but wonderful in it's own right.

Look for my next post for another fountain destination - Seattle, WA.

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