Category Archives: Chicago Concerts at Millennium Park

Chicago’s Magnificent Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago, Illinois.

Image via Wikipedia

I am a Travel Junkie who loves to travel around the world. I can’t resist taking pictures of  beautiful fountains; I find them so intriguing.

One of the most magnificent fountains in Chicago is the Buckingham Fountain. The fountain was designated as a Chicago landmark on August 30, 2000.

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago

It is located at the intersection of Congress Parkway and Columbus Drive, just west of south Lake Shore Drive in Grant Park. Grant Park is a popular venue for Chicago Festivals like Jazz Fest and the Windy City Wine Festival.

The park was an integral part of Daniel Burnham‘s 1909 city planning efforts that involved integrating a series of projects into Chicago’s  lakefront.  He envisioned Chicago as a “Paris on the Prairie” with French-inspired public works projects and beautiful fountains.

Burnham’s magical vision generated our horizontal kingdom with gorgeous skyscrapers. Chicago’s magnificent skyline, monuments and sculptures are a result of the convergence of vision and technology.


Grant Park’s Sculptures

Daniel Burnham

Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world. Any time of the day or night, people converge upon the fountain to take pictures. It’s a favorite spot for newlyweds.

Chicago Wine Festival at Buckingham Fountain

The pink marble fountain was designed by beaux-arts architect and city planner Edward H. Bennett who was also involved in Burnham’s Plan of Chicago and the construction of Grant Park.

Bennett’s office was located in the penthouse of the Santa Fe building (pictured below) with the large “Santa Fe” logo on the roof, at 80 E. Jackson in Chicago. From his eagle’s nest view, he could supervise the construction of Grant Park. The 17-story office building is located on the Historic Michigan Boulevard District. The Santa Fe building has distinctive round porthole  windows along the cornice.  The center of the building features a  lightwell that was covered with a skylight in the 1980s.

Buckingham Fountain and the Santa Fe Building

From Bennett’s penthouse office, he could also supervise the construction of   the Buckingham Fountain and the original ornamental Peristyle. A reproduction of the Peristyle majestically crowns  Millennium Park.

Peristyle in Chicago

The Peristyle (pictured above), is a replica of the curving row of paired Greek columns that were originally on the corner of Grant Park near Michigan and Randolph from 1917 to 1953. The statues (pictured below), were created by the French sculptor Marcel F. Loyau. The whimsical sea-horses depict mid-western states.

Buckingham Fountain Sea-horse Statues

The fountain was dedicated on August 26, 1927 and was constructed at a cost of $750,000.  Water streams through the fountain’s 193 jets. The design looks like a wedding cake and it was inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles. The central structure allegorically represents Lake Michigan and it is surrounded by four sea-horses. Each sea-horse represents the states that surround Lake Michigan: Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.

The fountain is operational from April to October with interesting water shows  every hour on-the-hour that last for 20 minutes. During the show, water spews from the central jet. The center jet shoots up vertically up to 150 feet.  There are lovely evening light shows.  After dusk, these shows are choreographed with lights and music. The last show begins at 10:00 p.m. During the winter, the fountain is decorated with holiday lights.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @

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