Buckingham Fountain is one of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks, dominating the heart of Grant Park. Numbering almost a century of life, it is one of the most elaborate and impressing fountains around the globe, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Plan on seeing it up-close? Then check how much you know about this emblematic monument!
Below, we have gathered 5 exciting and generally unknown facts about Buckingham Fountain, that will intrigue you even more and built up some excitement before visiting the site!
- One of The World's Largest Fountains
The Buckingham Fountain measures 85 metres in diameter, making it one of the largest constructions of the sort in the world. It rises more than 7 meters high and consists of three successive levels of basins, engulfed by four pairs of bronze seahorses. It features 134 jets powered by 3 pumps, ejecting water up to a staggering height of more than 45 metres!
- It Has Nothing to Do with Buckingham Palace!
The fountain has nothing to do with Buckingham Palace, as believed by many due to the synonymy. It is named after its wealthy benefactor, Kate Buckingham, who dedicated it on May 26, 1927, as a memorial for her late brother, Clarence.
Clarence Buckingham, born in 1854, was the eldest of three and moved to Chicago with the rest of his family while still a young boy. His father founded a firm building and operating grain elevators and quickly became one of the wealthier businessmen in the area.
Clarence followed on his steps and showed particular interest in art and culture. Unfortunately, he died unexpectedly in 1913. His untimely demise was a shock to both his family and his fellow citizens.
- The Fountain Holds Almost 6,000,000 Litres of Water
Given its gargantuan dimensions, it may not come as a surprise that the Buckingham Fountain holds a little less than 6 million litres of water!
- It is Equipped with an Elaborate Security Alarm!
It may sound a bit foolish, or at least redundant, but, as a matter of fact, it is 100% necessary! The Buckingham Fountain is equipped with an elaborate security system, monitored 24 hours a day by trained personnel! Its precious material and immense cultural and historical value have made it a target before, and Chicago wishes to make sure no damage is inflicted on it.
- It Represents Lake Michigan!
Last, you should know that the whole construction is a sophisticated symbol of the famed Lake Michigan! Built by M. Loyau, the basins stand for the Lake itself, while each pair of horses represents one of the states encircling its waters, namely Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.
It is a sublime sight, and you should not miss the chance to visit this marvel of the past century! Join one of our Segway Tours in the city of Chicago and marvel its spectacular water formations.
Don’t delay – book today!