March 10, 2016

Transitions: Restored—J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain

  • By: Katherine Flynn

In each Transitions section of Preservation magazine, we highlight places of local and national importance that have recently been restored, are currently threatened, have been saved from demolition or neglect, or have been lost. Here's an updated one from Fall 2015.

J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain

photo by: Kansas City Missouri Parks & Recreation/Jesse Frazier

The restored J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain in Kansas City, Missouri, was unveiled in April 2015.

In December 2014, the bronze fish, horses, and riders adorning the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain outside Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, were removed for their first full restoration and modernization in more than 50 years.

The beloved figures were crafted by French sculptor Henri Greber in 1910 and originally inhabited the gardens of Clarence H. Mackay's Harbor Hill estate in Roslyn, New York. In the early 1950s, after being discovered in a salvage yard, the statues were shipped to Kansas City, where they've occupied the same location since 1958.

In addition to a thorough cleaning of the statues, the recent restoration included repairs to cracks in the fountain basin and the addition of a new water pump that can be monitored via smartphone by the parks department. The rejuvenated fountain was unveiled to the public in April 2015. The project was part of a larger two-year, $3.5 million restoration of nine fountains in Kansas City, spearheaded by the nonprofit City of Fountains Foundation.

Katherine Flynn is a former assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores, and uncovering the stories behind historic places.


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