Blog Archives

Mary A. Fraser Memorial Fountain

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Location:  Kansas City Zoo, Swope Park, Kansas City, Missouri

Found:  July 4, 2014

Located in the Kansas City Zoo on the Beaks and Feet path, not too far from the flamingos near the beginning of the African section of the zoo is this working drinking fountain.  It was originally located near the sea lion pool but was conserved, replumbed and relocated to its current location in 2000.

It was donated by Edith A. Norton in memory of her mother, Mary A. Fraser.  There is a plaque on both ends stating the gift and the memorial.  It is an art deco style structure with a sculpture of a young woman in the middle.  There is a working drinking fountain on each side of the sculpture.  There are two small fountains at the beginning of the path to the fountain.

The zoo does charge admission.  Check the zoo’s website for further information should you decide to go looking for this fountain.

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Martha & Jack Steadman Fountain

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Location:  Starlight Theatre, Swope Park, Kansas City, MO

Found:  October 11, 2013

It is located on the west side of Starlight Theatre.  Named after Jack Steadman, who was a longtime executive with the Kansas City Chiefs and an influential member of the Kansas City community.  Both Jack and Martha are longtime supporters of the theatre.

The Shirley Bush Helzberg Garden of the Stars is on the opposite side of the theatre.

A special thanks to Karen VanAsdale, with Starlight Theatre, who took time out of her day, a concert day even, to greet me at the gate and escort me around the theatre to take pictures of both of the fountains inside Starlight Theatre and she made sure both fountains were running as well!  It was very much appreciated.

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Shirley Bush Helzberg Garden of the Stars

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Location:  Starlight Theatre, Swope Park, Kansas City, MO

Found:  October 11, 2013

Inside the east entrance of the Starlight Theatre is the Shirley Bush Helzberg Garden of the Stars.  Columns!  Waterfalls!  Fountains!  What’s not to like?  The entire fountain is 180 feet in length and stretches back towards the theatre itself.  Shirley Bush Helzberg is a former president of the Starlight Theatre Association and her and her husband, owners of Helzberg Diamonds, donated $1 million to the creation of the site.

The Martha & Jack Steadman Fountain is on the opposite of the theatre.

A special thanks to Karen VanAsdale, with Starlight Theatre, who took time out of her day, a concert day even, to greet me at the gate and escort me around the theatre to take pictures of both of the fountains inside Starlight Theatre and she made sure both fountains were running as well!  It was very much appreciated.

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Alfred Benjamin Memorial Fountain

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Location:  Swope Park, Starlight Road and Pavillion Road, Kansas City, MO

Found:  September 14, 2013

Northwest of the intersection of Starlight and Pavillion Roads, and across the street from the west parking lot of Starlight Theatre, is this no longer operational drinking fountain in front of a stand of trees.  It was dedicated to the memory of Kansas City philanthropist Alfred Benjamin.  The sculpture on top shows one man offering a drink to the other.  “Charity” is inscribed over the left bench, “humanity” over the right.  An inscription dedicated to and describing Mr. Benjamin is above the bowl.

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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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Delbert J. Haff Circle Fountain

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Location:  East Meyer Boulevard, Askew Avenue and Swope Parkway, Kansas City

Found:  September 14, 2013

In front of the Meyer Boulevard entrance to Swope Park is this large traffic island (it is 600 feet long) containing these fountains and the large reflecting pool in which they reside.  This is one of Kansas City’s larger water features as the pool measures 160 feet long by 60 feet wide.  It is surround by a low stone wall.

At the west end of the pool is a sculpture memorial for Delbert J. Haff, who was a Parks Commissioner in the early 20th century.  It is a bust set on a high stone platform and is covered.  The bust is looking east toward Swope Park.  I tried to get an over-the-shoulder shot of the fountains, but I wasn’t quite tall enough.  I had to settle for a side-of-the-bust shot instead.

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Harry Evans Minty Memorial Fountain

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Location:  Kansas City Zoo, Swope Park, Kansas City, MO

Found:  September 14, 2013

On the Tiger Trail in the Asia section of the Kansas City Zoo is where this fountain can be found.  It is next to the red panda exhibit.  It is a working drinking fountain.  The sculpture on top is of a lion cub that was one of Mr. Minty’s favorites at the zoo.

The zoo does charge admission.  Check the zoo’s website for further information should you decide to go looking for this fountain.

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Thomas H. Swope Memorial Fountain

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Location:  Swope Memorial Golf Course, Swope Park, Kansas City, MO

Found:  September 14, 2013

If you follow Swope Memorial Drive as far North as it goes, you get to a circular parking lot next to Swope Memorial Golf Course.  Coursing northwest off this circle is a stone path that leads down to the Thomas H. Swope Memorial.  Thomas H. Swope, who donated the large amount of land, around 1300 acres but the park is now 1805 acres,  for the park that bears his name, is buried at this site which contains the fountain, which is 6 feet tall, and the memorial just to the east of it.  The fountain is on the edge of an overlook and you can see most of the park from here.  In the distance you can see the tops of the Starlight Theatre building and you can see the 178-foot tall Jacob Loose Memorial Flagpole, which is on the opposite side of the park, from here.

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