Blog Archives

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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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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2016 Fountain Day Ceremony

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

Found:  April 12, 2016

April 12 was Fountain Day for Kansas City and all the city-maintained fountains were turned on today.  A ceremony to celebrate Fountain Day as well as to dedicate the repaired and renovated William Volker Memorial Fountain, with now-operating waterfall, was held in Theis Park across Brush Creek from the fountain and waterfall in the amphitheatre.

There was a pretty good turnout on a beautiful spring day that included local media, artists and Miss City of Fountains 2016 (I was not able to get a good shot of her, but that’s her in one of the pictures below with the sash and tiara).  Many food trucks were set up in the park to kick off the Feast of Fountains promotion this year.  A choir from St. Peter’s School kicked things off with a couple of songs.  Many thanks and acknowledgements were handed out as well as a telling of the history of the Volker Fountain and the man for which it is named.  The crowning moment of the ceremony was when Carl J. DiCapo and Miss City of Fountains pushed the plunger (referred to as the detonator by the emcee) and the Volker Fountain sprang to life followed a few seconds later by the waterfall.

Video of the turning on of fountains will be posted ASAP.

The first four pictures below are scans of the program that was handed out at the ceremony in case you were not able to make it.  Information about Feast of Fountains can be found on Page 4.

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William Volker Memorial Fountain

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

Found:  April 20, 2014

Located at the south end of Theis Park along Brush Creek facing Volker Boulevard.  From this location, you can see the Nelson-Atkins Museum to the north along with two of the shuttlecocks.

The sculpture in the center is of St. Martin of Tours, a patron saint of France, on horseback about to share his coat with the beggar below.  Around the saint and the beggar are an angel sitting, a confused faun and a flying angel.  The artist who created the sculptures had a sense of humor as the seated angel is wearing a wristwatch and the flying angel is holding its flute backwards.

Behind the fountain is the Brush Creek Waterfall which is currently not running.  I am not sure if it is operable or not.  I could swear I read somewhere that it is needed repairs.  Should it get repairs and/or I find it running, I will remove those pictures from this page and create its own page.

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