Blog Archives

Pratt Memorial Fountain – Renovated

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Location:  Dagg Park, Armour Road and Howell Street, North Kansas City

Found:  June 6, 2016

In the south part of Dagg Park fronting Armour Street sits this fountain.  It is a memorial to both Emma and Dorothy Pratt, both of whom were important community leaders in North Kansas City, MO.  Dagg Park is across the street from the North Kansas City city building and police department.

As you can see by comparing to my old Pratt Memorial Fountain post, Dagg Park has undergone a major renovation.  The park’s grand re-opening was on May 28, 2016.  There used to be a small swimming pool in the park.  It has been replaced with a playground and a couple of splash pad areas.  The new splash pads have been quite popular so far.  The park was packed both times I’ve visited since the grand re-opening.

The fountain area has also undergone a major facelift.  The trees and landscaping are gone.  In its place is a concrete walkway around the fountain, benches for sitting and a pergola.  The fountain has been cleaned up and repainted.  A grate has been installed in the fountain basin.  I was told this was put in place to keep people from falling in.  Apparently, this was either a problem or a concern that needed to be addressed.  In my opinion, the grate does not look good.  Either way, it is nice to see a fountain get renovated and taken care of when it needs to be.

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AAFP Fountain

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Location:  American Academy of Family Physicians, 11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway, Leawood, KS

Found:  May 22, 2016

This fountain is a traffic circle in front of the AAFP building on Tomahawk Creek Parkway.  There is a bubbler in the top basin.  Water flows out over textured scuppers around the edge of the top basin down into the lower basin.  There are two sets of four jets on the outside of the lower basin that shoot water back into the top basin.

There is a brick pathway around the fountain that comes out in front of the building entrance.  At the beginning of the brick path is a dedicatory plaque honoring the founding executive director of AAFP.  There is one bench next to the fountain but it sits very low to the ground.  Kids might not have a problem with but adults may have a problem sitting down on it and then getting back up.

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Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden

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Location:  Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden, 4800 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO

Found:  May 14, 2016

Located next to Theis Park and within sight of the Volker Fountain, this two-acre garden is part of the Kauffman Legacy Park.  Powell Gardens, in partnership with the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, manages and maintains the garden.  There are four distinct sections and 7,000 plants in the garden.  You can read more about them at the website for Powell Gardens.

There are four water features within the garden.  In the Green Garden, you find the octagonal-shaped pool with fountain in the middle.  It is between the pergola and the Orangery.  I have heard it called the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Fountain before.

Just to the east of the fountain against the east wall of the garden is the Shell Girl.  She stands on a pedestal in a small pool.  Water flows lightly out of the shell she holds in her right hand and falls into the pool below.

In the Parterre Garden, there is a long pool with three sculptures of dancing women created by local artist Tom Corbin.  Water bubbles up at the foot of each woman and there is a jet of water at each end.

It should be noted that shell girl, the fountain and the long pool all line up exactly east to west.  You can stand at shell girl and see all the way to the end of the long pool and you can stand at the end of the long pool and see shell girl with the fountain in between.

In the Secret Garden, there are three jump fountains.  They just look like black, mesh-covered drains and you can hear water running in them.  If you stay and watch, occasionally water will jump up out of the fountains and the jump can be fairly high, I’d guess as high as 6 to 8 feet above ground.  However, there does not seem to be any patterns and there is no noise or action that indicates that water is about to jump.  There may be long pauses in between jumps.  Also, one may jump while the other two remain silent.  So, your photo taking skills may be put to the test trying to photograph these in action.  Until about a month ago, I did not know these jumping fountains were there.  I had walked past the Secret Garden many times not realizing that that was part of the garden and not a storage/maintenance area.  The pictures were gotten on my second attempt to photograph them in action.

This is a new, updated post.  The old post was titled “Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Fountain” but I decided to redo the post for the garden as whole after finding the jumping fountains.  Since they brought the total up to four water features, it seemed more logical to do it that way.

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Bernard Powell Memorial Fountain

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Location:  Spring Valley Park, E 28th Street and Brooklyn Avenue, Kansas City, MO

Found:  May 5, 2016

The Bernard Powell Memorial Fountain is located on the east side of Spring Valley Park at the intersection of E 28th Street and Brooklyn Avenue.  The fountain is a hexagonal “pyramid” topped with a statue of Bernard Powell.  Water bubbles up at the base of the statue and runs down all six sides into a basin below.

There are five plaques surrounding the fountain.  Two tell about Bernard Powell while the other three list all the contributors to the memorial.  There is also a plaque on the sidewalk behind the fountain signifying that a time capsule has been buried there.

The memorial is across the street from his childhood home at 2801 Brooklyn Avenue.

Bernard Powell was a Kansas City native.  He was a civil rights activist.  He also co-founded the Social Action Committee of 20 aimed at teaching leadership and job skills to African-American youth.  He was also a proponent of neighborhood beautification with the theme of “Ghetto or Goldmine – The Choice is Yours.”  Sadly, he was fatally shot at the age of 32 at the East Side Social Club in Kansas City.   Please Google Bernard Powell and learn more about his life as I am probably not doing him justice with just this paragraph.

Also, I apologize for the pictures.  A dark-coloured statue in a shaded area is not a good combination, further complicated by the afternoon sun shining behind the fountain.  I tried with the flash on and off and got only slightly better results with the flash on.  Maybe mid to late morning is the best time to take pictures here.

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Firefighters Fountain Update

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Location:  West 31st Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, Kansas City, MO

Found:  April 13, 2016

Last year, the memorial section of the Firefighters Fountain was redesigned and constructed.  The reason was that, unfortunately, they ran out of room for names of firefighters who had fallen in the line of duty.

The new memorial was built between the fountain and old memorial.  It is made of aluminum and contains more room for names.  The old memorial had the names removed and replaced by plaques commemorating historic moments in the history of the Kansas City Fire Department.

Something that I found out about this fountain since the original post is that the outermost ring of water jets are made from fire hose nozzles.

The original post can be found here.

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William Volker Memorial Fountain & Waterfall

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Location:  Theis Park, Volker Boulevard and Oak Street, Kansas City, MO

Found:  April 12, 2016

As part of the 2016 Fountain Day ceremony, the repaired and renovated William Volker Memorial Fountain was dedicated.  Not only is the fountain and the sculptures contained within repaired and renovated, the waterfall is now operational.

You can read my original post about the fountain here and use that post to compare and contrast the changes and renovations made to the fountain.

The waterfall had not run for many years.  It was originally designed to use water out of Brush Creek, which as many Kansas Citians know, is not the cleanest source of water.  Over the years, the silt and mud (and whatever else got sucked into the fountain) mucked up and clogged up the plumbing and filtration system faster than it could be cleaned out eventually rendering the waterfall inoperable.  But now, everything is fixed and working and it looks great.

The fountain up top also got repaired and renovated.  The basins were redone to replace cracking and leaking materials.  The bases for the sculptures were redone.  The sculptures were removed from the site and while gone were repaired and cleaned up and they made their return on April 7.  The water spouts and jets now shoot higher.

Everything looks great and as good as new now!

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Frank S. Land Memorial

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Location:  8640 Holmes Road, Kansas City, Missouri

Found:  January 31, 2016

The Frank S. Land Memorial is a memorial sculpture and was, at one time, also an operational fountain.  I’m not sure if it was once part of a fountain or if the memorial itself was the actual fountain.  This memorial has been relocated at least once, if my research is accurate.  The memorial is currently located in front of the Masonic Hall on Holmes Road.

Frank S. Land was a business and community leader in Kansas City and also the founder of the Order of DeMolay (aka DeMolay International), which is now an international youth organization.

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Adams Dairy Parkway Fountain

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Location:  NE Adams Dairy Parkway & NE R.D. Mize Road, Blue Springs, MO

Found:  September 13, 2015

A gateway fountain for the City of Blue Springs.  It is dedicated to the historic Adams Family Dairy.  It is located on the corner of the former location of the dairy.

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VFW Centennial Plaza

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Location:  Broadway Boulevard and West 33rd Street, Kansas City, MO

Found:  June 28, 2015

Facing Broadway and in front of the parking lot for the VFW building is the VFW Centennial Plaza.

The plaza features the sculpture Citizen Soldier by Jim Brothers.  Behind the sculpture is a wall featuring the emblems for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.  To the right of the sculpture, behind a low wall, are five plaques signifying different aspects of the VFW and the military experience.  At the base of each of the plaques are two bubblers, giving the fountain aspect to the plaza.  The bricks in front of the armed services emblems and the plaques are dedicatory bricks featuring names of people who served their country.

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Liberty Memorial Fountains

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Location:  National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, 100 West 26th Street, Kansas City, MO

Found:  May 21, 2015

On the north side of the Liberty Memorial, facing Union Station, are these two identical fountains.  They were off all of last year as the Memorial complex was undergoing repairs and renovations.  Today was the first time I have seen them running.  I was unable to get a straight-on picture of the west fountain as there were people sitting on it.

A couple of shots below were taken from up top.  In one of those shots, you can see Union Station and the Henry Wollman Block Memorial Fountain.  Crown Center is to the east.

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