Blog Archives

Kearney Fountain

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Location:  Kearney Historic Museum, 101 S Jefferson, Kearney, MO

Found:  May 7, 2016

Located in downtown Kearney outside the Kearney Historic Museum and across the street from Kearney City Hall.  Water bubbles up out of the middle of a sculpted stone and flow down into the a stone topped basin in the middle of a circular stone wall.  Shrubs have been planted between the wall and the basin.  I do not know if there was a particular reason the water was dyed blue.

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Joy of the Waters

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Location:  Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO

Found:  April 29, 2016

My friend Alexis alerted me to this small fountain inside Nelson-Atkins.  It is in the classroom section of the Nelson Atkins Building, which is off to the left, past the restrooms, as you enter from the Bloch Building.  Turn down the hall and go a little ways and you will see this room through a couple of doorways.  You might hear it (if it is running, see below) before you see it.  There are doors leading out into the East Sculpture Garden but, as you can see in the pictures, they are blocked off.  While it was once an entrance, it has been made into a small room for relaxing with a couple of benches in alcoves.

The sculpture is by Harriet Whitney Frishmuth and sits in the middle of a small basin.  It is of a nude woman standing on a small rock surrounded by small plants.  There are small jets of water coming out of the base.  The whole thing is not very big and it is very subdued.

I do not know how often this fountain runs.  Alexis has pictures of this fountain while it was off and has never seen it in operation before.  I went back a week after I took these pictures and the fountain was off.  Whether she is running or not, she is accessible for viewing.

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Elmer F. Pierson Sculpture Garden Fountain

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Location:  Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO

Found:  May 6, 2016

This fountain is located in the East Sculpture Terrace on the south side of the Nelson-Atkins Building and was given to the museum by Elmer F. Pierson.  The water bubbles up in the upper-most level and runs and trickles down the various levels until it reaches the basin below.  The water coming up in the top looks no greater than a drinking fountain might put out.  As you can see in the pictures it sits underneath the branches of a tree and during the spring and summer sits mainly in the shade until late afternoon.  There are a few sculptures nearby.

This is an updated post.  The old post had only three pictures and I wanted to update it with more and better pictures.

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Noguchi’s Fountain

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Location:  Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO

Found:  February 18, 2016 (night photos) & May 6, 2016 (day photos)

In Noguchi Court at the south end of the Bloch Building sits this fountain.  Noguchi Court is the area with works by Isamu Noguchi.  It is outside the area where the museum houses its special exhibitions.

It consists of two sculpted basaltic stones, one with a concave top and one with a convex top.  Water seeps up through the hole in the top of each rock and runs down the sides into the rocks below.  It is tough to convey the movement of the fountain in still pictures as it just looks like pictures of wet rocks but it is actually pretty cool and also soothing.

I had an old post for this fountain that had just three pictures and I felt the need to update this post with more and better pictures.  I have also included pictures taken at night and the colours of the rock look they have changed without the glare of outdoors shining in on them.

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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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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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Vision Fountain

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Location:  Arabia Steamboat Museum, 400 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MO

Found:  June 23, 2014

This fountain can be found in front of the Arabia Steamboat Museum in the River Market area, north of downtown Kansas City, Missouri.  The sculpture is called “The Vision” by artist Jim Brothers which features a boy sharing his vision of the future with his dog.

The fountain was not running when I took my pictures.  However, there was some loose change in the basin so that makes me think it had been running recently.  Either that, or the basin was full of rain water when the pennies were thrown in.

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Intercity Horse Trough Fountain

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Location:  Wyandotte County Museum, 631 North 126th Street, Bonner Springs

Found:  April 10, 2014

This fountain is one of the oldest fountains still existing, having been first placed in 1905.  It has been moved a couple of times, starting at the Kansas end of what is now known as the Lewis & Clark Viaduct.  It was later moved to the tennis courts at 18th and Parallel in Kansas City, Kansas.  The Wyandotte County Historical Society eventually purchased it, had it fully restored and placed at its current home at the Wyandotte County Museum in Wyandotte County Park.  However, it is no longer a functional fountain.

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Wash Day

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Location:  Legler Barn Museum, 14907 W 87th St Pkwy, Lenexa

Found:  April 12, 2014

This small fountain is found outside on the west side of the Legler Barn Museum in Lenexa and is named after the sculpture.  The sculpture is of a woman washing clothing in a stream.  The water runs from the clothing she is holding and down into the basin.  The Legler Barn is on the West side of Lenexa’s Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park.  Rose’s Pond is to the east.

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American Legion #2

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Location:  Battle of Westport Museum, 6601 Swope Parkway, Swope Park, Kansas City, MO

Found:  September 14, 2013

This one-time drinking fountain is one of two fountains in Kansas City dedicated by the American Legion in 1921.  It is located behind the Battle of Westport museum just north of the Jacob Loose Memorial Flagpole (you can’t miss it, it’s 178 feet tall!).  The large bronze plaque depicts American soldiers entering a war-torn French village.  The fountain is currently inoperable.

NOTE – The Foundation refers to this one as #2 of the two American Legion fountains and I am following the Foundation’s naming convention.

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