If you are a fan of the Fox television syndicated sitcom Married With Children, you probably know that the opening sequence of the show features a shot of the Buckingham Memoriam Fountain. The Buckingham Fountain, which is constructed from Georgia pink marble, is one of Chicago’s most popular attractions. Located at Columbus Drive in Grant’s Park, the Chicago Buckingham Fountain is the largest fountain in the world. An exciting feature of the Buckingham Fountain is the 133 jets that spray 14,000 gallons of water per minute, as high as 135 feet in the air. A computer at the Chicago Buckingham Fountain controls the entire display, which includes the dazzling colored light show that takes place nightly from 9pm to 11pm.In 1999, music was added to the Buckingham Fountain in order to add a bit more pizzazz to the multi-colored displays. In the summer, people enjoy eating their lunch by the Buckingham Memoriam Fountain. However, because of the extensive damage that was done to the stone and concrete stairs, skateboarders, inline skaters are banned from the area. During the winter, the Chicago Buckingham Fountain is set aglow with white Christmas lights.
Buckingham Fountain History
The Buckingham Fountain history may be of interest to anyone who has an affinity for architecture. Kate Buckingham dedicated the Chicago Buckingham Fountain to the people of Chicago in 1927 in memory of her late brother, Clarence. At the time, she made sure to establish a $300,000 trust fund to ensure that the taxpayers would never have to cover all of the repair and upkeep costs associated with the Buckingham Memoriam Fountain. The Chicago Buckingham Fountain was dedicated on August 26, 1927. It was the starting point for Route 66, the highway that ran to Los Angeles. Years later, it would also become the starting point for the Emmy-winning reality show, The Amazing Race.
The Buckingham fountain history is also intricately tied in with the history of Chicago. It is the work of architect-planner Edward H. Bennett, who was a significant figure in the creation and execution of the 1909 Plan of Chicago. This plan was instrumental in encouraging the creation of lakefront amenities such as the Chicago Buckingham Fountain. Bennett’s other plans include the magnificent Michigan Avenue Bridge.
When you visit Grant Park, The Navy Pier, Lincoln Park Zoo and the other exciting Chicago attractions, be sure to spend some time relaxing by the Buckingham Fountain.