Saturday, June 6, 2009

Yet Another Water Fountain Destination

Rome is still THE Water Fountain Capital, but we have a US city that aspires to surpass Rome's water fountain total. Your indoor water fountain is a descendent of those in ancient Rome as are the many fountains in Kansas City which is the Fountain Capital of the US.

The City's first fountain was established in 1899 as an intregal part of the city's plan for it's park system. The city fathers focused on the building of pubic water fountains as a meaningful way for the city to reference its water-based origins while also beautifying the surrounding areas.

Since that first fountain, unfortuneately since destroyed, over the last century many other fountains have been placed in service in both publicly and privately owned outdoor spaces. Garden fountains have very much become a part of what distinguishes Kansas City from other cities. Although it is not mandatory, it is expected that any major new construction will include a decorative fountain. Each new structure presents the area's atrists with an opportunity to contribute to the community and continue a tradition that has existed for more than a century.

There are now more than 200 public outdoor fountains in Kansas City. There is also a vast number of personal backyard garden fountains found in dwellings all around the city. One of the most popular privately owned & operated outdoor fountains is the Crown Center Square Fountain located in a plaza bordered by two hotels and the Hallmark Card Company Headquarters.

There are a coule unique features of this fountain that go beyond the increasingly common water display augmented by music and light: there is no basin, nor any visible plumbing as water shoots up from the cobblestone paved 2000 square foot section and then returns to it; the second noteable feature is that the plumbing is heated thus allowing year around operation.

Most outdoor water fountains cease operations when the weather starts to present the possiblitiy of freezing tempertures, so year around operation is rare, indeed. Yet this city boasts at least two of them, the other being the public Northland Fountain, which was the first fountain to be established north of the Missouri River.

So, though the summertime is usually reserved for fountain browsing, wintertime in Kansas city provides the rare opportunity to view outdoor fountains with the unique and ever-changing ice sculptures produced by the combination of water, temperature, sun and wind.

The day designated for all outdoor fountains in Kansas City to be placed in operation is called "Greater Kansas City Day" and always coincides with the Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals' opening home game.

There are lots of fountains to see, so find a fountain tour or get a map and do your own and don't forget to sample some of the famous BBQ preparations you'll find along the way.

I hope that the lineage of your indoor water fountain at home will increase in meaning as you travel and view its more famous cousins.

My next fountain destination - St. Louis.

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