Blog Archives

Waterfall Park – Independence

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Location:  Waterfall Park, 4501 S Bass Pro Drive, Independence, MO

Found:  June 5, 2016

Waterfall Park sits back behind Bass Pro Shop near the junction of Interstate 70 and Interstate 470.  There is a small lake and Waterfall Park sits on the west edge of the lake off a traffic circle where Bass Pro Drive meets Bluff Drive.

If you are going to visit here, put your walking shoes on as you will need them to get the full views of the waterfalls here.  You will either need to park at Waterfall Park, off the previously mentioned traffic circle or at Bass Pro Shop.  To see the close-up views of the waterfalls, you will need to walk along Bluff Drive.  The left/north lane of Bluff Drive off the traffic circle is for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, the right/south lane is a one-way lane for vehicular traffic.

Roughly a quarter-mile east along Bluff Drive from the park parking lot, you will encounter the first waterfall on the south side of the road.  It is built into the side of the hill there and very steep and tall.  The water flows through a sort of drain and flows under the road and comes out the other side where it cascades down further into the lake.  Please be mindful that there is a lane of vehicular traffic when you cross the road to get a closer look.  There is a permanent decorative fence on both sides of the road to keep everyone safe from the falls.

From the first waterfall, continue east around the bend and you will see a light pole and what looks like a gap in the stone wall.  The is where the second waterfall is located.  The water is rolling down the hill in this location.  It’s not very steep but there is a lot of trees and plants that obscure the view here and there.  It all falls down into a hole a couple or three feet deep and, like the tall waterfall, flows under the road and comes out the other side.  Unlike the other waterfall, there are no fences or barriers around this hole so be careful walking around it.

To get the full-on views of the waterfalls, you will have to hike around to Bass Pro Shop and follow the path along the north side of the lake.  When you get to the apartment building next to Bass Pro, you will be able to see the full first waterfall and it is spectacular.  Unfortunately, the second waterfall is hard to find and see from the opposite side of the lake.

I am not sure what the policy is on getting on the lake or walking in the “woods” behind the barriers along Bluff Drive, but those would be the only ways to get a better look at the falls.  The areas around the waterfalls are grown over with trees and undergrowth, plus you’d have to jump barriers to get there.  That may not be a safe course of action as I’m sure the wet rocks are slick and you may not be able to see where you’re stepping and what you’re stepping on.

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Briarcliff City Apartments Fountain

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Location:  Briarcliff City Apartments, 3880 N Mulberry Drive, Kansas City, MO

Found:  May 30, 2016

This fountain is in a traffic circle at the entrance to the Briarcliff City Apartments and is up the hill from the Briarcliff Hilltop Fountain.  A fairly basic fountain here.  Water bubbles out of the very top of the fountain and cascades down as it overflows each basin.  The traffic circle is well landscaped with shrubs and flowers.

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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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Levi Fountain

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Location:  Corbin Park, 6917 W 135th Street, Overland Park, KS

Found:  May 10, 2016

Located in Corbin Park  on the northeast side of the traffic circle near Scheel’s Sporting Goods.  It’s kind of a miniaturized version of middle part of the Corner Fountain with the water bubbling up into a pool at the top of the wall and either going straight out the front waterfall or going down a short channel on either side to the smaller waterfalls.

Unlike any of the other fountains in Corbin Park, this one apparently has a name.  At least, that is what the plaque affixed on the fountain says.  The numbers look like a date but I don’t know what exact date it represents.  I have to assume that is when the fountain was finished and/or dedicated and put into operation.

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The Elms Fountains

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Location: The Elms Hotel and Spa, 401 Regent Street, Excelsior Springs, MO

Found:  May 7, 2016

The historic Elms Hotel and Spa has been around for 125 years and has been frequented by celebrities, politicians and notorious people.  It is also haunted by friendly spirits and has been featured on the show Ghost Hunters.  Visit the hotel website to find out more about its history.

As for the fountains, there are two in front of the hotel.  One is right in front of the hotel in a traffic circle.  The other one is at the north end of Elms Boulevard at St. Louis Avenue in the median.  The one at St. Louis Avenue is a two-tiered fountain with an ornate, geometric shaped basin.  The one at the hotel is a three-tiered fountain flowing down into a round basin.

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Pompeiian Urn

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Location:  6615 Wenonga Terrace, Mission Hills, KS

Found:  May 3, 2016

This large urn was once part of the Pompeiian Room in the old Baltimore Hotel in Kansas City, once one of Kansas City’s premier hotels, that opened in 1899.  When the hotel was demolished in 1939, the owners gave the urn to J.C. Nichols and he placed it at its current location.  It was once considered one of the premier examples of Pompeiian architecture in the United States.  I have seen information that it was once part of a fountain but I have not seen whether it was at the old hotel or at its current location.  It is not a fountain now.

It is located in a traffic circle along Wenonga Terrace.  The address above is approximate but when you reach the circle you cannot miss the urn.

There was a house under construction on the north side of the circle and so all of my pictures were taken from angles to keep the construction and everything involved out of the shots.

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Hallbrook Fountain

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Location:  W 118th Street and Brookwood Avenue, Leawood, KS

Found:  April 22, 2016

In the collection of subdivisions surrounding the Hallbrook Country Club is this fountain.  It is in a traffic circle about a block north of West 119th Street and is a few blocks east of the One Nineteen shopping center.

It is a pretty sizable fountain with a stone-rimmed basin, jets in the middle and around the outside.  There are four benches sitting around it, spaced out 90 degrees apart from each other.

When I was out there, there were a couple of ducks checking out the fountain.  It looked like they wanted to go for a swim but weren’t too sure about the fountain parts.  I tried to stay away from them and let them be.  I got a little too close and they started to walk away but hopped back up on the ledge after I backed off.  They were still there when I left.

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Briarcliff Hilltop Fountain

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Location:  Briarcliff Hilltop, 1251 NW Briarcliff Parkway, Kansas City, MO

Found:  April 14, 2016

In the Briarcliff area of Riverside is this fountain.  It is in front of and along the entrance to the area with the Courtyard Hotel and the Briarcliff Hilltop Office Building.

The water comes out the top and into the top basin and then into the middle basin and down into the pool.  Around the bottom are three seated women in different poses.  In between each pair of women, there is a lion’s head that has water coming out of its mouth down into the seashell below it.  The outside of the pool has a repeating pattern on it.

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Mission Hills Fountain

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Location:  West 56th Street, High Drive and East Mission Drive, Mission Hills, KS

Found:  June 28, 2015

While looking for the Goddess of the Spring, I took a wrong turn and came across this fountain that I did not know existed until today.  It is in a traffic island at the intersection of the three streets listed above.

The fountain features an angel or cherub holding what looks to be a fish of some sort.  Water is coming out of the fish’s mouth as well as from inside the top ring.  The water falls down to the bottom ring and flows over the side into the basin below.  The shrubbery is very obviously cut into a distinct pattern and I have included a Google Map picture below to show what it looks like from above.

The fountain is located in the Mission Hills subdivision in Mission Hills, Kansas.  Until I am able to find another name for it, I will refer to it as the Mission Hills Fountain.  It is located approximately a block or so east of the Mission Hills Country Club and Golf Course.

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American War Mothers Memorial Fountain

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Location:  East Meyer Boulevard and The Paseo, Kansas City, MO

Found:  May 21, 2015

This fountain is in the small traffic circle at the intersection of East Meyer Boulevard and The Paseo.  It is a rectangular obelisk standing 18 feet tall in the middle of a basin.  It is dedicated to those who served in World War I.  Each side of the obelisk is marked with a star, except the west face which has the War Mothers’ emblem and the the years 1917 and 1918 inscribed.  The south face has a blue star is dedicated to those who were wounded, the east face has a gold star symbolizing those who died in the war and the north face has a white star for those who returned home uninjured.  On each side of the obelisk at the top is an eagle carved into the stone.

Research Medical Center is located to the north.  Dunn Park is to the south.  In Dunn Park, up by Meyer Boulevard, is a large solar panel.  This solar panel is what provides power to the fountain and allows it to operate.

This is the second entry I have made for this fountain.  This was the first time I had seen this fountain in operation, so it gets new pictures and the new page treatment.

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