Blog Archives

Power and Light District Fountain

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Location:  Power and Light District, near W 14th Street and Main Street, Kansas City, MO

Found:  May 30, 2016

AKA H & R Block Courtyard Fountain, AKA Elements Courtyard Fountain

This double fountain is located in the Elements Courtyard in the Power and Light District in downtown Kansas City.  It is also at the foot of the steps to the H & R Block building.  The Elements Courtyard is a seasonal patio bar next to the district clock tower.

The fountain is a double-sided fountain, each side is identical to the other.  Water flows out the top and cascades down into the pool.  On the ends, there is a stairstep-type structure whereas the middle is much steeper.  In the middle of each fountain is a bowl which looks like it can hold any number of things such as lights or any other type of decorations.

The fountain and the patio bar was recently renovated.  I went up there earlier this month to get pictures but they were roped off with a sign saying they were under renovation.  I took these pictures in the morning on Memorial Day, which accounts for the lack of activity.

It is very hard to get a picture of both fountains at the same time, unless you want to count reflections in the restaurant windows.  I climbed up the stairway under the clock tower to get the photos from above and from just the way the fountains are arranged it was still kind of tough to get both fountains in one photo.

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Federal Reserve Bank Fountain

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Location:  Federal Reserve Bank, 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO

Found:  April 13, 2016

The Federal Reserve Bank is south of Crown Center and the Liberty Memorial.  It is across the street from the entrance to the Liberty Memorial.  This fountain sits out in front of the building.    The fountain consists of two pools, two statues and three jets and there is also water flowing out the statues’ bases.  The two statues are of bronze and represent the Spirit of Industry (on the left) and the Spirit of Commerce and were made by the artist Tuck Langland.

There is a Money Museum inside the Federal Reserve Bank.  Judging by signage, be prepared to show a photo ID if/when you enter the building.

The Federal Reserve Bank is closed in the evenings and on the weekends and they have gates at the entrance and exit to keep vehicles out when it is closed.  I do not know for sure if the fountain operates or how receptive they are of walk-up visitors when the building is closed since it is a Federal building.  So, your best bet probably is to visit during a weekday.

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JC Nichols Memorial Fountain – Renovated

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Location:  Mill Creek Park, West 47th Street and JC Nichols Parkway, Kansas City, MO

Found:  April 26, 2015

You can read my original post on this fountain here.  You can read about the renovation here.

The JC Nichols Memorial Fountain was in dire need of repairs.  This fountain is an icon of Kansas City and it has been renovated and looks fabulous!  The fourth original missing dolphin was found and put in its proper place in the fountain.  The “replacement” dolphin is now a sculpture piece sitting northeast of the fountain proper along with a placard telling the story of the missing dolphin and the renovation.

Even if you saw it in the past, it is definitely worth going back and looking at it.  I cannot emphasize enough how great it looks now.  It looks almost brand-new now!

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William T. and Charlotte Kemper Memorial Fountain

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Location:  10th and Main Transit Center, 10th Street and Main Street, Kansas City, MO

Found:  April 20, 2014

AKA 10th Street Fountain, AKA Transit Fountain.

At the southwest corner of the intersection of 10th Street and Main Street in downtown Kansas City is the Kansas City Transit Authority Plaza.  This is one of the two transit centers in Kansas City.  It is very common to see city buses lined up here and many people sitting waiting for the buses in the small park around and behind the fountain.

The fountain was inspired by the Fountain Basin and surrounding architecture.  It also has two modes of operation, one that emphasizes the power and movement of water and a second that minimizes water and allows the bronze sculpture to dominate.

It is located across the street from the Commerce Bank Fountains.

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Commerce Tower Fountain

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Location:  Commerce Tower, 911 Main Street, Kansas City, MO

Found:  April 20, 2014

AKA Commerce Tower Sunken Garden Fountain, AKA Fountain of Good Life

This fountain is in a sunken garden on the south side of the Commerce Tower on Main Street in downtown Kansas City.  There is a staircase leading from the sidewalk on Main Street down into the garden.  Disabled people presumably would have to go into Commerce Tower itself and take an elevator down to the garden and use the tower entrance on the north side of the garden.  There is a deli off the garden to give the weekday downtown workers an option for lunch, which can be seen in most of the pictures.  You can see the staircase leading back up to street level in a couple as well.

The sculpture in the middle of the fountain is in the shape of a lotus blossom and is made out of bronze.  Water shoots up out of the middle and is broken up by the lotus petals.  There are a few benches around the garden for fountain watching or just to rest.  I took the pictures in April so the plants, flowers and trees around the fountain were not in full bloom yet.

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Muse of the Missouri

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Location:  Main Street between 8th Street and 9th Street, Kansas City, MO

Found:  April 20, 2014

AKA David Woods Kemper Memorial Fountain

The Muse of the Missouri sits in the median of Main Street between 8th and 9th Streets in downtown Kansas City.  The sculpture is of a goddess giving her interest and guidance on the Missouri River.  The fish were meant to be of species native to the Missouri River but the artist found catfish too ugly and carp unworkable so he created hybrids with carp bodies and bluefish heads.

There are 200 spouts of water, including the fish on the sculpture, in the fountain.  Water works its way down from the sculpture into the basins below and going from the highest basin to the lowest.  The fountain is dedicatd to David Woods Kemper, who was killed in Europe during the last days of World War II.

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Commerce Bank Fountains

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Location:  Commerce Bank Building, 1000 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO

Found:  April 20, 2014

While the Commerce Bank Building’s address is 1000 Walnut, these fountains are located at the entrance facing the intersection of 10th Street and Main Street.  Each fountain consists of water coming out of a small lion’s head down into the basin below.  The two fountains look to be identical.

In the background of the main picture above and one of the pictures below, you can see the Kemper Memorial Fountain across the street.

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Ponce De Leon Fountain

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Location:  Ponce De Leon Condominiums, 4555 Main Street, Kansas City

Found:  October 12, 2013

From the Foundation’s Facebook page:  “Roland Sabates gave us the inspiration behind the fountain at his Ponce de Leon building. It turns out when he informed his mother he got the building her reply sounded like “Fountain of Ewes” and hence the two sheep worked into the fountain he commissioned.”

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Kansas City Board of Trade Fountain

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Location:  Kansas City Board of Trade, 4800 Main, Kansas City

Found:  July 27, 2013

Update – May 7, 2016 – The Board of Trade no longer resides at this building.  The new owner is in the process of constructing a new entrance.  The fountain has been removed and no longer exists.

The fountain forms a “moat” across the front of the Kansas City Board of Trade building with the path to the entrance bridging over the fountain.

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